In a joint rescue operation by Wildlife SOS team from Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center and the Forest Department, a critically injured sloth bear was rescued from Ramanagara on outskirts of Bangalore city in Karnataka.
An explosive device used by the poachers exploded inside the bear’s mouth, causing severe internal fracture to the bear’s jaws and skull. The bear is currently critical and is undergoing medical treatment at the Bear Rescue Center.
“At 7:30 am, the Divisional Forest Officer of Ramanagara district made an emergency call to the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center run by Wildlife SOS in Bangalore that a wild sloth bear was critically injured and in grave condition,” said Suvidha Bhatnagar, spokesperson of the NGO.
“The animal was spotted in Kabbal village and had reportedly taken up shelter in the outskirts of the village and was unable to move. A four member Wildlife SOS rescue team led by Dr Arun A Sha, rushed to the location with medical equipment and a transport cage in hand,” Suvidha told Policy Pulse.
“The male sloth bear is about 6 to 7 years old and has suffered massive injury and internal damage to his mouth, head and neck regions. The animal appeared to be under acute and excruciating pain, although the wounds were all internal,” said Veterinary Director of Wildlife SOS, Dr Arun A Sha.
“Upon close examination, the veterinary doctors from Wildlife SOS were shocked to discover that the bear had sustained severe internal injuries that were caused by a country made explosive device concealed inside food bait,” Dr Sha added.
Dr Sha further said, “Based on xray, I can see multiple fractures in both lower and upper jaws, travelling all the way into the skull. The animal’s condition is grave and we are keeping it under close observation.”
Kartick Satyanarayanco founder of Wildlife SOS said “This crude explosive method is often used by poachers to kill wild boars and other game. These crude, locally made bombs are concealed inside food baits and curious wild animals are tricked into biting into them.”
“The result is often devastating and causes the head or mouth parts to explode, leaving the animal to die a slow and very painful death while waiting for the poachers to retrieve their prize,” Kartick further added.
The act is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and of convicted the poachers could be punished with a jail sentence of between 3 to 7 years.