In phone calls from Delhi to Sydney overnight, visiting wildlife rescuers Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani were told their team is negotiating the rescue of fifteen Dancing Bears from extreme cruelty back in central India. Kartick and Geeta are in Australia to generate awareness & raise funds for Wildlife SOS for their projects for a mobile elephant clinic to treat Delhi's long suffering captive elephants and to continue with their work of caring for rescued dancing bears and rehabilitating their owners in India.
India's ‘dancing' sloth bears are used to entertain tourists for money – dragged around to dance like puppets by a cruel rope through their nose. Their training entails the smashing of their canine teeth with a metal rod, piercing their muzzle with a red hot needle and beatings that often leaves them blind. Sloth bears are a severely endangered species and their owners source them illegally from the wild as cubs, poachers often killing the mothers in the process.
The fifteen sloth bears shall be taken into the care of Wildlife SOS overnightafter a breakthrough in several months of negotiations with theirimpoverishedowners, who will now receive retrainingand opportunitiesto place theminto more respectable jobs as part of the Wildlife SOS project. This rescue will necessitate the founding of a third sanctuary in India.
The bear sanctuariesaredesigned to provide near-natural environments for the rescued bears, with large free-ranging areas, dens, water bodies and trees to climb.The first sanctuarysituated near the Taj Mahalhas rescuedover 190 sloth bearsfrom dancers, poachers and traders. A second Sanctuary at Bannerghata, Karnataka, provides refuge to about 30 dancing bears and will be expanded to house 100 bears. Wildlife SOS now seeks to generate support forathird sanctuary at Bhopal, which is still in the making and will house over 70 rescued bears.
“Now that Wildlife SOS suddenly has fifteen more bears to care for, and with fifteen more to follow,they are in desperate need of funds and hoping the Australian public will help”, said Verna Simpson, Director of Humane Society International, the Australian organisation sponsoring the current fundraising trip. “It costs thousands of dollars to take care of each bear for its lifetime and to help his owner start a new life”.
Kartick and Geeta are also in Australia to raise funds for a new project they are setting up to provide desperately needed veterinary care to Delhi's long suffering street elephantsandto train their owners to provide better care.
“Kartick and Geeta's wonderful track record with the bears tells us the elephant project will be a great success. We hope Australians will give generously so that Wildlife SOS can keep up its incredible work relieving the suffering of so many of Delhi's street animals and restoring dignity and respectable employment to the impoverished owners that exploit them”, said Ms Simpson.
Humane Society International is accepting tax-deductible donations on behalf of Wildlife SOS Donations can be made by ringing free call 1800 333 737 or online at http://www.hsi.org.au/
back to top