Rangila the dancing bear is finally rescued and on his way home to India.
With our support, our partners Wildlife SOS (WSOS) are currently in the process of rescuing Rangila, an Indian sloth bear that was used as a dancing bear in Nepal.
The rescue operation follows a first failed rescue mission which left Rangila and a second bear named Sridevi languishing in a zoo in Kathmandu.
Tragically, Sridevi died whilst at the zoo which has been criticised for the poor conditions in which its animals are kept.
Finally, after seven months of intense international negotiations, Wildlife SOS managed to get all the paperwork in place to move ahead with the rescue operation. A specialist rescue team set off immediately to fetch Rangila and bring him home.
Our CEO Alan Knight OBE said: “After the death of Sridevi it became even more urgent to get Rangila out of the zoo which was clearly unable to provide adequate care for the bears. The mistreatment and neglect both animals had suffered as dancing bears had taken a heavy toll on their physical and mental health.
When they were first rescued off the streets of Nepal, they were due to come straight to the Agra Bear Rescue Facility which is part-funded by us and managed by our partners Wildlife SOS. However, instead, somehow the bears ended up languishing in a zoo which is known for its poor standards of animal welfare.
“Wildlife SOS immediately set the wheels in motion to free the two bears and bring them home. Tragically, time ran out for poor Sridevi. Now we must ensure that Rangila does not suffer the same sad fate.”
The journey from Nepal to Agra is a long and arduous one but the rescue team will be monitoring 19 year old Rangila’s condition throughout the 1,000 kilometre trip and making frequent stops to feed him and let him rest.
The WSOS team are experts in the care of rescued dancing bears that have often sustained shocking injuries during their lives on the streets.
When the bears were first rescued from their captors, they both displayed signs of serious trauma, cowering and pacing back and forth. Having been taken from their mothers when they were still small cubs, both animals had had their teeth knocked out, their noses pierced with a hot iron rod and a coarse rope forced through the open wound.
Alan Knight concluded: “We are so pleased that Rangila is in safe hands now and on his way home to India. IAR has been involved in the dancing bear rescue project since 2002 and we are proud to support the ongoing care of the hundreds of bears now living peaceful, pain-free lives in sanctuaries in India.”