Urgent Appeal to help Star and her cub
A badly injured bear was recently found lying in a pit near a farm in India. Trembling at her side was her small terrified cub.
The mother bear was in shock, with a deep wound on her left foreleg and severe swelling on her right hind leg. She had been shot and was clearly in terrible pain.
Our partners Wildlife SOS rushed the dying bear to the Veterinary College Hospital in Bangalore where the true horror of what she had been through was revealed. Xrays confirmed that she had been shot and numerous pellets were still lodged in her leg. Her elbow joint had been completely dislocated. No wonder she was in so much pain ...
Her rescuers called her Swati – the Hindi word for Star. We do not know how long she had been lying there in agony before she and her cub were found.
Since the day she was rescued the vets at the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre have done all they can for Star. They dressed her wounds and her elbow joint was realigned and carefully bandaged.
She has undergone two operations to remove the embedded pellets and save her leg. But her condition remains serious owing to the depth of the wound and the immense stress she suffered when she was shot and left to die. We’re still not sure whether Star will be able to walk on her injured leg. But one thing is certain - after the physical damage she has suffered, she is going to need our protection and care for a long time to come.
After the attack Star was in no fit state to look after her baby. The keepers were able to find him a foster mother at the rescue centre and she is caring for him along with her own young cub. The little bears are getting on well and Star’s cub is much happier now he has a friend. We are calling him Lucky because it’s a miracle he survived such a terrible attack.
We are raising funds to build a special enclosure for Star. She is still a very frightened bear but with plenty of patience and kindness I know the expert team of vets and keepers will help her adjust to life in the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre.
January 2015 - Appeal Update
I am very happy to report that Star has recovered well from the two major surgeries to remove the bone fragments from her elbow and extract the pieces of shot from her leg.
She is eating well and gradually becoming less nervous and fearful of people. The wound on her leg has healed completely but I’m sorry to say she still isn’t standing or walking on it. Sadly it looks as though she will be permanently lame.
So it seems Star will be joining the other rescued bears at the centre and making it her permanent home. The vets and keepers will keep her comfortable and contented and ensure her quality of life is as good as it possibly can be.
Her new enclosure is under construction so Star will soon have more space to exercise and build up her strength. Her life will be hugely improved when she can feel the earth under her paws and the sun on her back again.
While Star continues to make steady progress, Lucky her cub is thriving. He has the company of another young bear and spends his days playing and getting up to mischief. We no longer have any plans to reunite him with his mother now that he is weaned and independent. But he still has a lot of growing up to do.
Lucky in his enclosure at our bear rescue centre
Thank you so much for whatever you can give today towards the future care of Star and Lucky