by- Shruti Prabhala
Remember the story of Swati bear? She was a wild sloth bear who was found in a pit along with her baby cub in Central Karnataka. She had a deep wound on her left forearm and multiple gunshot wounds, but the baby was unhurt although traumatized. She was in a great deal of pain and had to be tranquilized in order to let the Wildlife SOS rescue her. Swati and her cub were brought to the Bannerghatta Bear rescue Centre where the cub was given to a foster mother bear as Swati was unable to care for him due to her injuries. She had to undergo two major surgeries and since she was very weak, she also could not be returned to the wild. We had housed her in the night den so she could be close to her cub and watch him.
Almost 4 months have passed by since the rescue and since the time she has arrived at the BBRC, she has gained 10kgs. Her overall health status is improving and she is consuming porridge regularly. Her right hind limb was completely damaged by the gunshots. She continues to not bear any weight on her limb but appears to have no locomotory difficulty. Current reports revealed a healed fracture along with remnants of lead pellets that appears to have become embedded in the muscle tissue around the elbow joint. As of now, we do not intend to amputate her limb as it is not causing her any distress. As she is in no condition to be released in the wild, we have kept her in her own enclosure at the centre which she gladly shares with Chandni bear. They have bonded well over time and can be seen together eating and frolicking about their enclosure.
As for the cub, he is an year old now and is very friendly. His name is Lucky, a healthy cub who enjoys playing with his new friend, another cub, in his new home. He has learned to climb trees and relishes dates and honey.
To all those who have helped Swati and Lucky by supporting us, we are grateful to you for making their lives healthier and happier. Please continue to give your love and support to these wonderful bears. Thanks a ton!