Happy Easter!

April 23, 2020 | By Mahima Sharma
The bear keepers made watermelon bunnies for Easter Sunday! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

The nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has led to everyone being confined within the four walls of their home, as authorities battle the intensity of this virus. As our bear keepers and elephant keepers set up camp at the rescue centres, they find newer ways to keep the animals occupied and themselves busy. Recently, bear keepers at the Wildlife SOS Agra Bear Rescue Facility decided to mark the occasion of Easter by making interesting and adorable treats out of fruits for the resident bears!

One of the staff at ABRF holding the watermelon bunny! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Watermelon bunnies with their smiley faces and leafy ears, were placed strategically in different parts of the enclosures. When the sloth bears woke up in the morning and stepped out of their enclosure with groggy eyes, they were completely taken by surprise. The Weasley clan and Ranjan were particularly thrilled to find their watermelon bunnies and stuffed as much into their mouths as possible.

It was the first Easter of the Weasley bears with us, naturally marking the occasion as special. Their keeper decorated Arthur and Molly’s single-levelled platform enrichment with fruits. Molly was quick to hop on the platform and curiously nudge the watermelon around, until it fell right through the platform. After toying around with it for some time, Molly was quick to figure out this delicious enrichment and immediately indulged in it. Upon finishing her part, she was quick to walk over to Arthur to have a bite of his share only to realise that he had figured out the enrichment way before her! Arthur had crushed the watermelon and was enjoying it wholeheartedly sprawled at the platform, under the sun, blissfully unaware of his surroundings. 

Arthur was quick to indulge in the pulpy goodness of the watermelon. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

For Ranjan too, Easter was an extremely special occasion as we saw his spirited side come to play as he hastily climbed atop the small log structure in his enclosure where his delicious surprise was placed. He crushed the watermelon with one mighty blow of paw and went on to gobble up the entire watermelon, along with the leafy years!

Ranjan loved his delicious surprise and was playing around with the watermelon bunny for a long time. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

It was heartening to watch the bears relish the watermelon bunnies. These specially designed enrichments not only help the bears beat the heat, that has subtly started setting in the Northern parts of the country as summers have crept in, but also provide the much needed mental and physical stimulation with the help of enrichments.

The sloth bears celebrated the Easter Sunday with curiosity and enthusiasm! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Easter celebrations are a time of hope, and hope is what is guiding everyone around the world in these dark times. As our sloth bears have their fruity feast and went on to nap and relax for the day, it gives us a chance to step away from the mayhem that the outbreak of this pandemic has caused and immerse ourselves in the happiness and innocence that surrounds us!

Here is how the sloth bears at Wildlife SOS Agra Bear Rescue Facility reacted to the new additions to their enclosures and after sniffing around, thoroughly enjoyed these watermelon bunnies for Easter Sunday!

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