GREEN MINUTE NEWS:
Amidst the verdant surroundings of Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru, the Wildlife SOS Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre serves as the world’s second largest rescue facility for sloth bears. This unique rescue centre which has completed 18 years – is a pioneer in sloth bear conservation, its management and welfare of rescued and rehabilitated sloth bears.
Situated in the heart of Bannerghatta National Park, the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre was established in November 2005, wherein Wildlife SOS signed an agreement with the Karnataka Forest Department and the Zoo Authority of Karnataka.
Presently, the centre operates under the supervision of the Bannerghatta Biological Park. It is home to over 60 sloth bears, with a majority of them rescued from the cruel ‘dancing’ bear tradition.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS said, “18 years since its establishment, the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre today stands as a pioneer in the care of rehabilitated sloth bears. The centre serves multifaceted purposes, such as that of an educational hub, a veterinary research hub and an avenue for outreach through corporate social responsibility.”
Starting with a humble beginning of just two buildings, the facility today has expanded to include five large separate enclosures, a state-of-the-art operation theatre, and an eco-friendly bear kitchen operated through biomass-based cooking stoves.
Further, the facility is also the first fully solar-powered rescue centre run by the organisation, and this natural resource supplies power to the entire sanctuary.
Sandhi Priya, Deputy Director-Corporate and Philanthropic Partnership, Wildlife SOS, said, “What sets the Bannerghatta rescue centre apart is not just its journey, but its organic evolution into a sustainable haven for both bears and humans. Today, we proudly boast solar panels, an organic green kitchen with minimal carbon emissions, and a commitment to energy efficiency that not only benefits our environment but also significantly reduces our operational costs.”
Dr. A Sha Arun, Director- Research & Veterinary Operations said, “Over the years, the facility has functioned as a rescue centre for treatment and care of sloth bears. However, it has also taken huge steps forward in veterinary research, and welfare and management of rescued sloth bears.”
Apart from this, special focus has been placed on outreach programs that include engagement with people. This occurs in the form of corporate partnerships and celebrity visits to the centres, and an active volunteering program. Further, participants and visitors who choose to volunteer, can directly contribute their time toward the care and wellbeing of the rescued bears.