Bear diaries: A tale of two bears
Taken from IAR's blog, Bear Diaries:
Wildlife correspondent Aishu Sudarshan provides an update on the two bears rescued from Chitradurga zoo...
It has been several months since the brothers from Chitradurga set foot in the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre and every day since that November afternoon things have been looking up. The minute the brothers entered the centre, they were given large dens with a water trough and fruits to make them comfortable after the journey. They were christened Angelo and David.
Angelo was the elder brother who unfortunately tested positive for TB. David on the other hand tested negative but was extremely underweight. When the team at the centre saw the brothers they let out a gasp at how full grown bears could weigh so little. Angelo was immediately put on medication because the TB was in the initial stages and so we took more precautions. David was put on a highly nutritious diet that included various growth supplements and vitamins.
In the past 5 months we have seen them improve both mentally and physically. Angelo’s coat has started looking fuller because of the diet and medication. He developed an appetite and didn’t complain when we added the medicines to his porridge. He kept to himself and used to become extremely tense when an unfamiliar person came to see him.
Today, Angelo is more or less the same bear but he has become much healthier and finishes all his meals. His coat has improved, his medication is working and he has fallen head over heels in love with watermelons. There are a few things that we hope get better with time, for one his fear of humans. If Angelo senses a new person near his den, he tries to hide in a corner and won’t eat or move until that person leaves. It is his miserable past that has led to these circumstances but we are hoping it’s just bright and beautiful from here on.
David is called the little one because he would eat very little and was extremely small for his age. David was just skin and bones when he entered our centre. He refused to eat anything on the first day and didn’t eat any fruits till 2 weeks later.
Now, he is still a much slower eater than his brother but his appetite has improved and so has his coat - and he loves pineapples! The most noticeable improvement is his personality. David came to us as a worn out bear that wouldn’t even move in his den. Today, he digs pits, destroys the enrichment and shreds coconuts in milliseconds. He even snarls back at the other bears!
A few weeks back the keepers created a little area for Angelo to make him comfortable with the outside and help him start using the enrichment. It took him a while to come out of his den and take a few steps. He was extremely wary of his surroundings. But when he did gather the confidence there was no stopping him. He sniffed the entire place, tried his hand at the enrichment and even ran towards the keeper.
David on the other hand took to the outside like a pro when he was introduced to it a few months back and went straight to the fruit barrel looking for pineapples. We are extremely happy the brothers have come on so well and now feel sufficiently at home in the rescue centre to reveal their very different personalities.