Soor Sarovar in Uttar Pradesh, also known as Keetham Lake, hosts not only diverse avian life, but also a sanctuary in its surrounding area for the unique and lesser-known sloth bears. At Wildlife SOS’ Agra Bear Rescue Facility, more than 100 sloth bears have found solace after being rescued from the clutches of the ‘dancing’ bear trade and conflict-ridden situations. Amongst them, three individual bears stand out for the deep bond of friendship and camaraderie that they share: Rose, Bintha, and Mandro.
This month, let’s celebrate remarkable Rose and her cheerful companionship!
Rose, barely a year old at the time of her rescue, was fortunately saved in a joint operation by our anti-poaching unit and the forest department in Madhya Pradesh in 2016. She had tragically fallen victim to a poacher’s jaw trap, a perilous device that causes severe injuries like deep cuts, joint damage, mutilation, and fractures, which can often lead to the captured animal’s death.
Rose’s escape from that grim incident was nothing short of miraculous. Nevertheless, her attempts to release herself from the trap led to grave damage that required her to have her left forepaw amputated. Observing Rose walk with a noticeably painful limp, with her tiny muzzle serving as an improvised crutch for her, was a poignant sight that tugged at the hearts of all those who bore witness to this.
Watching the little cub struggle pushed us to beseech Amazon.in, the giant e-retailing firm, to remove all listings of snares and traps from their online portal that had the potential to harm countless animal lives! Our appeal was graciously and successfully accepted by the Amazon team.
Rosy Days For Rose!
Today, Rose is a completely different bear than how she was when she first entered our premises. She now stands as a spirited, mischievous, and undeniably adorable adult bear who has forged deep bonds of friendship with other bears in her field.
After Rose successfully completed her observation period, during which our medical team ensured her physical and mental well-being, she was introduced to a new phase of her recovery at the centre. She was moved from isolation to an enclosure where she could start socialising with other bears. One of her earliest and closest companions has been Bintha.
Wildlife SOS had rescued Bintha as a young cub in 2013. She was extricated from the clutches of poaching for the ‘dancing’ bear trade. The friendship between Bintha and Rose blossomed almost instantly, with the two female bears forming a tight-knit duo. They can often be found playing together with the various enrichments provided to them in their enclosure. Bintha, being the older of the two, is usually the first one to explore any new enrichment, while Rose waits patiently for her turn. Prolonged interference to their playtime by other bears in their enclosure is sure to be met with annoyance by the dynamic duo, especially by Bintha!
However, an interesting turn of events began taking place in recent times. Rose started digging her way into the neighbouring enclosure, where she encountered Mandro, another bear saved from the ‘dancing’ bear trade. Mandro and Rose quickly became friends, prompting Rose to venture into the neighbouring enclosure more frequently.
This pattern led to the decision of transferring Mandro into the field Rose and Bintha shared. Given the age gap, Mandro, currently 24 years old, seemed like a perfect fit for the two younger bears. The move cemented a special friendship and camaraderie among Rose, Bintha, and Mandro. Any tiff between Bintha and Mandro is immediately resolved by Rose, who has assumed the role of a peacemaker among the three!
Rose isn’t a picky eater, although she can be moody at times and occasionally skip her meals. This, however, can be attributed to seasonal changes. In order to maintain her overall health, she is provided with multivitamin supplements and liver tonics, which is a staple for all the bears at our centres. As the youngest bear in their group, she seems to like being pampered by not only her two companions but also by her caregivers, who find her playful antics extremely endearing.
A distinct trait of Rose worthy of mention is her penchant for striking astounding poses! Her postures often resemble the challenging ones practised in Yoga. It’s delightful to see her express her comfort and security in her surroundings. Rose indulges in taking breaks to rest on her platform or on the hammocks as she soaks up the sunlight, especially during the colder months.
Rose is also extremely active and possesses a knack for keeping herself entertained without solely relying on enrichment items. Her enclosure offers her a wide range to dig around for termites and ants she can snack on. If Rose stumbles upon an intriguing stick during this time, she engages with it for hours, till she finds another fascinating distraction!
In one incident, a tree in Rose’s enclosure had to be removed for maintenance. Our bright ursine took this matter as an opportunity, and spent an extended period of time digging on and around the tree to enjoy a hearty meal of insects she found there!
Despite her amputated limb, Rose is an amazing climber with an adventurous spirit. She can often be spotted lounging atop a tree, observing her surroundings.
We are grateful to be able to provide Rose with the opportunity to live contentedly in the companionship of her fellow bears! You can help us care for Rose and our rescued bears by making a donation.