Green Minute News

Even if India is out of the World Cricket Cup, the craze for cricket continues and this has led to two orphaned sloth bear cubs to be named Maahi and Mithali.  This is in honor of cricket legends Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Mithali Raj.

The two young cubs were found clinging to their dying mother inside a 20-foot-deep well on the outskirts of Pavagada village, Tumakuru district Karnataka, India. They were rescued by forest officials and Wildlife SOS. Presently, they are being looked after at the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center in Bengaluru. 

The bears are suspected to have fallen and trapped inside a well for two days. The mother bear had succumbed from starvation and physical injuries sustained during the fall. Local farmers discovered them hearing the cries of the young cubs. Rescuers were met with a devastating sight as the cubs were clutching onto their dead mother and still nursing from her. 

Later, the 20 weeks old male and female cubs were transferred for care to the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center. Initially quite fragile, they underwent intensive care and treatment. Yearning for motherly care, the cubs were attached to a female bear named Ankita, in the hopes that she would adopt them. 

In fact, Ankita and her own two cubs were rescued from a conflict situation a few years ago. Fortunately, for the orphans, she happily donned the role of a foster mom. Dr Arun A Sha Director, Research & Veterinary Operations  said, “It is in the first 18-24 months of their lives cubs pick up the skills and natural instincts from their mothers such as digging up mud pits and insect mounds, foraging, climbing trees, etc. Under Ankita’s skillful guidance and care, today the cubs have grown healthy and confident! “

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said, “We are grateful to the Forest Department for entrusting us with the lifetime care and treatment of the two orphaned cubs.” 

The cubs now have a free-range enclosure where they have the opportunity to see and smell other bears, adds Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder. They can spend all day on the enrichment structures that are built specially to keep our bears healthy and fit. They have grown quite mischievous and spend hours playing with peanut filled enrichment ball and delicious honey logs.”

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