Bannerghatta bear rescue facility
At the end of 2005 International Animal Rescue and Wildlife SOS were given the chance to set up a second sanctuary for dancing bears in India within the beautiful Bannerghatta Safari Park outside Bangalore.
The nature reserve is home to antelope, elephants, tigers, crocodiles and a variety of wild birds, and at the centre of the forest is a 37 acre area set aside for bears. Twenty-six bears were being kept in the park in appalling conditions. They were suffering terribly from their long imprisonment and showing signs of psychological and physical trauma.
The Indian Conservator of Forests was extremely concerned when he learned of the neglect of the bears. He contacted Wildlife SOS for advice and they in turn called on International Animal Rescue for help.
Once the Conservator of Forests had visited the Agra bear sanctuary he knew International Animal Rescue and Wildlife SOS could be trusted to look after the bears in Bannerghatta. Our two charities were given the go ahead to care for them and give them their freedom, and also to transform their prison into a brand new sanctuary for other rescued bears in the south of India.
This was a major breakthrough in the campaign to free bears in India. It spelled an end to the misery of the 26 bears and also provided the foundations for the sanctuary in southern India that we had been looking for.
Since those early days, much money and time have been invested in Bannerghatta so that the care and housing it provides for the bears equal the standard in Agra.
Bannerghatta also has a fully equipped veterinary surgery to treat sick and injured bears and carry out complex dental surgery on their broken teeth and painful gums. The surgery has even been used by our volunteer dental team to operate on two tigers with very sore heads!