Agra bear rescue centre welcomes Moksha
Just ahead of the holiday season, the IAR-funded Agra Bear Rescue Centre in India has welcomed the arrival of Moksha, whose name means "eternal freedom of the soul". He was one of the few bears to have been smuggled out of the country by his owner to avoid surrender to or confiscation by the Indian authorities. But after almost a year of hiding in a foreign country and avoiding returning to his family in India, the owner ultimately decided to return to India with the intention of surrendering his animal.
IAR's partners Wildlife SOS received information through its informers and assisted the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department led by District Forest Officer K K Singh to rescue the bear from Lakhimpur Khera in Uttar Pradesh and transported it to the Agra Bear Rescue Centre. Moksha is about 15 years old and only partially sighted. He is suffering from lack of appetite, internal parasites, malnourishment and fatigue. He is currently undergoing a period in quarantine. He is quiet and mild tempered and is recuperating from his travels and also the harsh conditions in which he lived and danced for over a year. His rope has been removed but the wound in his muzzle has turned septic and will take some time to heal.
Latest reports from Wildlife SOS say that Moksha has adjusted well to his new life. He is eating his porridge and fruits and has already bonded with his keeper. In fact he has even started trying to play with his keeper who says: "When alone Moksha sits at the window and keeps looking out at the other bears playing and it can be made out from his face that he longs to go and join in their games. Luckily it won't be long before his wish is fulfilled and he will spend all his time running free with the other bears at the sanctuary."