In a two hour long rescue operation, the Wildlife SOS team from Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre and the Forest Department rescued a wild sloth bear trapped in a poacher’s snare near Koratagere village, Karnataka.
The rescue was triggered after an emergency call from the Range Forest Officer of Tumkur division alerted the Wildlife SOS team at the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center in Karnataka. The officer informed about the presence of a sloth bear that was caught in a poacher’s snare near Koratagere village, Madhugiri range.
Local residents were shocked to find a wire snare intertwined around the large animal’s waist. Fearing for its well-being, they rushed to report the incident to the Forest Department, who in turn contacted Wildlife SOS.
A six member rescue team led by Dr. Arun A. Sha of Wildlife SOS along with Range Forest Officer Chinnappa rushed to the location. The team had to act fast and cut through the crude wire snare before it could cause any severe internal damage to the traumatized bear. They were able to successfully release the animal back into its natural habitat.
Dr. Sha, Director-Wildlife Veterinary Operations said, “The sloth bear is a female of approximately 4-5 years old. Judging by the condition of the bear, we believe it had been trapped for nearly 15 hours. We had to first immobilise the animal before cutting the snare and conducting a medical assessment and treatment.”
“The snare was made of a modified clutch wire, reinforced with a fence wire and it was intertwined around the bear’s waist,” he further informed.
RFO said, “We received a call from villagers who informed us about the trap. As the bear had received the necessary treatment for its minor wound, we thought it best to release it in the neighbouring Thimmalapura State Reserve Forest.”
We are trying to track down those responsible for setting up this illegal hunting device and engaging in poaching of protected wildlife species, he added.
KartickSatyanarayan, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS said “We are fortunate that the bear did not sustain any severe injuries and was able to safety return to its natural habitat. Snares are one of the cruellest human-created threats to wildlife. Only a small percentage of these animals survive these deadly traps and the deaths of a majority of these victims of poaching go undocumented.”
Animals caught in snares and traps often struggle for hours, in some cases even days before succumbing to thirst, hunger, strangulation, internal injuries and even predation from carnivores.
The animals that manage to escape often succumb to their injuries and die days or weeks after their painful escape. And this is not to mention the agony, terror, and anxiety that any trapped animal will experience.