In 2008, Wildlife SOS created a third bear rescue centre in central India as more Kalandar families began surrendering their bears – the Van Vihar Bear Rescue Facility (VVBRF). With hundreds of ‘dancing’ bears taken off the streets in a short time, a new unit was the need of the moment.

VVBRF was created in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department in the Van Vihar National Park, Bhopal; it is now home to over 20 Sloth bears. These bears were rescued from/handed over by their Kalandar masters after months of intensive work with the community, or they were handed over by the forest department for long-term care and treatment.

The rescued animals suffer from health problems such as tumours and tuberculosis; problems of malnutrition and dehydration; cataracts and opacity of vision; muzzle injuries, maggot wounds and ulcerations in the mouth, and severely broken teeth.

Wildlife SOS works in partnership with International Animal Rescue in the UK, One Voice, France, and Humane Society International, Australia, to help these bears.


Wildlife SOS Van Vihar Bear Rescue Facility, Van Vihar National Park, Shymala Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462002


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