Bear of the Month: Aleem

June 18, 2019 | By wildlife@dmin

Aleem has been part of the Wildlife SOS family for over 13 years now. Currently residing at the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, Aleem’s past life was strikingly different than the one he lives today. Watching him play in the company of other rescued bears, it is almost impossible to believe that Aleem was once living under such brutal conditions, while being used as a dancing bear across the streets of India for the mere purpose of entertainment.

Until Wildlife SOS intervened, Aleem’s life was seemingly dark and hopeless. He was barely alive as he was extremely malnourished. After his rescue in 2006, he was provided with the best veterinary care possible. He was diagnosed with extremely poor appetite owing to which he had a thin frame. He also sustained a wound on his muzzle, which was unattended to for the longest time and bore infection.

Aleem with his beloved bear buddy Ambika.

On being freed from his kalandar master, he was firstly rendered medical assistance, following which the team aimed at ensuring his emotional well-being. Having known life at the end of a rope for four long years, Aleem was bound to be psychologically hurt with a broken spirit. The staff at ABRF soon introduced Aleem to other rescued bears, in the hope to lift his spirits. Fortunately, Aleem made friends with fellow bears Ambika and Sultan Bi, with whom he spent hours exploring and frolicking around in the field.

With love and care of the wonderful team of doctors and caretakers, Aleem’s health improved miraculously. He currently weighs 98 kilos against the mere 85 kilos at the time of his rescue.  To beat the summer heat, Aleem’s diet is also modified to include portions of seasonal fruits like watermelons, mangoes and coconuts along with the honey-laced porridge and nuts. He is described as a highly energetic and active bear by his keepers Rakesh Singh and Jagveer. Even though, he spends most of his energy exploring the enrichments and the field in search of termites and ants, he would patiently wait around his pen door during his feeding time.

Aleem reaching out for the gunny sack toy to get his favorite treats.

He sometimes steals his favorite treats from his keeper’s hands, as he irresistibly watches him stuff nuts and dates in the enrichment ball or a braid-feeder. He would then retreat to the corner to relish them undisturbed.

Having access to a pool and sprinklers in his field, Aleem is often sighted relaxing in his pool or getting drenched under the sprinklers in order to get some respite from the heat. Once cooled down, he indulges in long naps for hours and joyously looks forward to the evening playtime.

Aleem mock charging at Anees in attempts to play with him.

Aleem’s journey has been so heartening and inspiring to watch. We are ever so grateful for your unwavering love and support. Thank you so much!

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