To battle the rampant and brutal practice of ‘dancing’ bears, Wildlife SOS with its mission to conserve and rehabilitate the Sloth bears in captivity saw the absolute need to develop a rescue centre for the bears. We also aimed to ensure rehabilitation for the Kalandars, a community that practised the tradition of bear-dancing in South India. With this focused thought, the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre (BBRC) was born through an agreement with the Karnataka Forest Department and Zoo Authority of Karnataka, which was signed on November 28, 2005.
Since then, BBRC has been instrumental in rescuing and providing long-term care for over a hundred Sloth bears rescued from the ‘dancing’ bear trade, poaching, ill-kept zoos and human-bear conflict situations. With additional retiring dens built and the much-required renovations made to the existing dens, the centre currently holds over 60 rescued bears amidst the lush greens and rocks of the dry-deciduous Bannerghatta Biological Park, making it the world’s second-largest rescue centre for Sloth bears. The BBRC is a perfect home for them to spend the rest of their lives away from the trauma and torture of dancing on the streets.
The bears now have a healthy and nutritious diet thrice a day which includes porridge, honey and large quantities of fruits with additional supplements for proteins, vitamins and calcium. To ensure they burn enough calories, the keepers build and develop many enrichment structures for the bears to play and learn the ways of the wild. The BBRC also houses a well-equipped veterinary clinic and a team of experienced veterinary doctors to ensure round-the-clock care and monitoring of these rescued animals.
The Wildlife SOS Bear Rescue Project and Kalandar Rehabilitation Programme are supported by international partners such as International Animal Rescue- UK, One Voice Association- France and Humane Society International- Australia.
|Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre, Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bangalore – 560083|