Urgent: Bear cub poaching continues...
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A tiny bear cub of only eight weeks old was found tied to a tree, terrified and trembling with fear. His soft nose had been pierced with a red hot needle and his teeth had been broken with a metal rod.
As the undercover team from our Indian partners Wildlife SOS closed in, the poachers fled, abandoning the petrified little bear. He should have still been living with his mother in the forest, but she was almost certainly killed as she fought to protect him from the poachers. Then he was stuffed into a sack and transported for days in the dark, crying in vain for his mother. Next came the horror of having his nose mutilated and his teeth smashed out. The poor little thing must have been in agony.
It is heart-breaking to think of the excruciating pain this young cub suffered before he was rescued.
The rescue team didn’t arrive in time to prevent the little bear’s pain but they did manage to save his life. They transported him in an emergency rescue vehicle to our Agra Bear Sanctuary. On arrival the vets gave the cub a thorough medical check up and found him to be “badly traumatised and in terrible pain.” He had been starved and was severely dehydrated.
The team called the cub Elvis.
Elvis was found in a village near the border between India and Nepal. The poachers were undoubtedly planning to smuggle him into Nepal to sell him. There, he would have suffered a gruesome fate. He would either have been butchered for body parts which fetch a high price for traditional medicine. Or he would have been beaten into performing as a dancing bear.
Thanks to the brave action of the rescue team and members of the Forestry Department in Uttar Pradesh, this little bear’s life has been spared and he is safe in the care of the vets in Agra.
But wild bears remain under serious threat of being poached and smuggled into Nepal where a cruel fate awaits them. Elvis’ story is new evidence that the threat to Indian sloth bears is as real and as great as ever. We will work with the Forest Police to try to catch the poachers and bring them to justice. For now, they are at large, so we need to remain extra vigilant.
Your gift today will help us care for Elvis and continue to be on full alert to protect other vulnerable bear cubs from poachers and wildlife smugglers.
Thank you for whatever you can give.
25th June - Appeal Update!
Thanks to our supporters, the team in Agra has been able to provide Elvis with all the treatment and special care such a young cub needs to survive. As well as being given all the nutritious food and supplements he needs to build up his strength, he is given plenty of enrichment to keep him amused and stimulated.
And as his health has gradually improved, Elvis has grown into a lively and boisterous little bear who loves climbing and playing. Nowadays he is able to climb so high that he has to be tempted down by the keepers with his favourite treats of fruit and honey!
If you haven’t yet sent a gift towards our appeal on behalf of Elvis the bear cub, please do so today. At four months old he is still just a baby in need of special care and comfort after the loss of his mother to help him cope with his new life.
Elvis is a brave and happy little soul but many challenges lie ahead. When the time is right he will be introduced to other young bears and start making friends. At least then he will have company and distractions from his loneliness. In the meantime, with your help, we will continue to give him plenty of honey logs and other enrichment to keep him occupied.
After such a tragic start in life, Elvis faces a long road ahead of him if he is to adjust fully to his new surroundings and adapt to life in the sanctuary. We will be with him every step of the way – and we hope you will be too.