Agra, May 5 : A bird sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh is providing a home to rescued bear cubs.
The Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary on the Delhi-Agra Highway is a collaborative project between the Wildlife SOS, a non-profit Wildlife Rescue Organisation, and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.
These organisations have already been involved in ending the age-old brutal practices such as poaching, making bears to dance for public entertainment and trafficking of bear cubs.
This new initiative is to facilitate a comfortable habitat for the rescued bears.
With mercury having touched plus 40 degree Celsius, the authorities at the sanctuary have installed various devices to keep the conditions cool in bear enclosures.
A number of water coolers have been installed and water sprinkled around regularly at the enclosures to lower the temperatures and prevent bears from being affected by the scorching heat.
Even the food being provided to the inmates in the enclosures has been changed to beat the heat. Bears are fed with citrus fruits such as watermelons, oranges, pomegranate and semi solid food. They are even fed with ice cream which they seem to enjoy it.
"I first saw a film on the television at home about this sanctuary and the work they were doing and when I planned my trip to India, I was hoping to come here and see for myself. I was very upset and very emotional after seeing the film and the work they're doing is amazing and I will try to do some work to raise funds for this sanctuary when I get back home," said Christine, a foreign tourist.
Meanwhile, the project organisers continue with their main effort to put an end to bear poaching in the region, which reportedly has been considerably successful in decreasing poaching and cub trafficking in the area.
"Right now we're having 284 rescuers who are engaged in Fatehpur Sikri area and other parts as well. We're maintaining temperature in such a level to give comfort for the bears by way of water sprinklers and we're providing water throughout the enclosures. We're giving lot of water and fruits. We mix the drinking water with essential salts. All the food is semi-solid in nature. They're adapting with the temperature. And moreover we're using water coolers for them," said S.P. Raja, a senior Veterinary Doctor.
Wildlife SOS used a scientific approach to tackle the dancing bear issue simply by encouraging bear owners to voluntary surrender of their bears and help them in taking up alternative and legal livelihood with seed funds and various training workshops.
Presently, there are over 275 rescued bears that have undergone a 90 days treatment in which they are given a complete health check up for diseases, parasites and wounds and are also given anti rabies vaccination.
The rescued bears right now are having full access to the large enclosures in which they are closely observed and monitored by the Wildlife SOS vets and staffs.