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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Update on rescued dancing bear Truffles

We rescued Truffles with our partners Wildlife SOS when he was just a little over a year old. He and three other young sloth bears were rescued from a group of poachers based in Jharkhand. All four of the bears were sold into a life of misery as dancing bears across the Indo-Nepal border, where this cruel practice is still on-going. 

When we first rescued Truffles back in 2013, we were greeted with the shocking site of a scrawny, weak bear with matted fur and a look of sadness in his eyes. His muzzle had been pierced, leaving an open, gaping wound vulnerable to infection. His canines were also broken, so he was in desperate need of medical attention. With the four other bears, he was rushed to the Agra Bear Rescue Facility. 

After arriving at the centre, Truffles displayed behaviour that was typical of a bear that had faced a lifetime of trauma inflicted upon him by  poachers. The behaviour is characterised by bobbing, swaying or waving of the head. Traumitised bears also sometimes pace irratically. Truffles was aggressive and moody due to the throbbing pain on his muzzle and was scared of human interaction.

When we rehabilitate animals, we tend to focus on not just their physiological recovery, but also their psychological recovery, which is an essential component to the regular veterinary care we provide them. After much hard work and patience by our team, Truffles eventually learnt to adapt to a life of kindness and camaraderie. 

Truffles developed a very close bond with fellow bear Kandi, as the two were rescued together and have been each other's strength ever since. Truffles is now five years old, and is very energetic and always on the lookout for mischief with his best friend. The duo are always keeping their keepers, Dharmendra and Sunil, on their toes as the bears sometimes try to demolish the wide range of enrichment activities available to them.

According to keeper Sunil, "Truffles has a funny and peculiar way of reacting to strangers where he spits on the unsuspecting persons face!". 

Truffles favourite activities includes climbing tree's and playing with hammocks and honey logs. These enrichment activities are all designed to keep the bears mentally stimulated, and we introduce new activities to the bears quite often. 

With your love, kindness and amazing support, a rescue that seemed almost impossible was made possible. The team at International Animal Rescue are incredibly grateful for everything our supporters have done for us. Without you, Truffles would still be living a life of misery today.