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-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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