More expansion in Agra
The expansion at the Agra bear rescue facility continues. The facility now houses 38 adult bears and 6 cubs making a grand total of 44 bears. This is a great step forward when considering that we had no bears at all at the end of last year. The six cubs have been seized on anti-poaching patrols and several people have been arrested and will face charges for the illegal capture of cubs.
IAR have just agreed to fund an extra £21,000 worth of expansion to help the new bears settle in. This money will be spent on new shelters for the bears and isolation pens for new arrivals. The Uttar Pradesh Forest Department have kept their promise to donate more land to the project. We currently have 17 acres and have just been given approval to expand the sanctuary by another 80 acres.
The Wildlife SOS memorandum of understanding allows us to keep 50 bears on the first 17 acres so the expansion of the sanctuary to nearly 100 acres will enable us to provide sanctuary for over 280 bears which will make a significant difference to the street trade.
Couple this with the constant pressure that WSOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department are putting on poachers and the future looks bright for the Sloth bears of India.
However, before we can start to look at taking in new bears we have to extend the wall of the sanctuary and this will take a lot of money. We are currently discussing with WSOS the options open to us for the building of the wall. We have already embarked on a campaign to contact several grant-making trusts to see if they will help us, so if you know of a trust or a person who may be in a position to help, please contact Carrie Colliss, our fund raising manager, on 01825 767688.
Alan Knight, our Chief Executive, is visiting the sanctuary this month to discuss the expansion plans.