On the 73rd Independence Day of India, ten international scientists from Namibia, Egypt, Sudan and Kenya visited the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre (BBRC) run by Wildlife SOS. As a part of their exposure in the field and training, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (NIANP) planned their visit to the centre to understand the correlation between wildlife, in this case, the Sloth bear and development. The institute conducts basic and fundamental research with respect to animal feed resource management using physiological-nutritional approaches to improve animal productivity and profitability of livestock farmers.
At the centre, the group sat to watch an introductory video on the momentous rescue of over 600 “dancing bears” from illegal custody in India by Wildlife SOS. The organization brought about a permanent end to the centuries-old tradition of amusement by creating alternative livelihoods and providing education to the people who earned a living from their exploitation, and now has a successful model in place for the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife.
Dr. Arun A. Sha, our Director-Research & Veterinary Operations, spoke to all our esteemed guests about the work the organisation tirelessly does across the country. After the interactive discussion, the group headed for a guided tour around the centre and observed the sloth bears from a safe distance. The guests were highly impressed by our bear management skills and infrastructure and were keen on bringing their friends and family to the centre for an exposure visit as well. They were absolutely thrilled to see the sloth bears making the most of this second chance at a life free of pain and abuse.
The Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre has been instrumental in rescuing and providing life-time care for sloth bears rescued from the dancing -bear trade; from poaching, and human-bear conflict situations. It is the second largest rescue centre for Sloth Bears in India and provides an environment as close to the bears’ natural habitat as possible. The centre is a home to over 75 sloth bears amidst the lush greens and rocks of the dry-deciduous Bannerghatta Biological Park. A perfect place for the rescued animals to spend the rest of their lives away from the trauma and torture they had to endure while 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 Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre 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. All of which, our guests could view and observe.
On the whole, the visit was quite productive and informative for all the guests and our team working at the centre. Wildlife SOS is honored to have visitors from various fields of animal care and conservation visit our rescue centres and exchange ideas, knowledge and experience to ensure better care for India’s wild animals. We encourage more people to visit us and join us in this endeavor.
If you would like to visit our centres across India please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.