A critically injured sloth bear, rescued recently from Ramanagara on the outskirts of Bengaluru, is fighting for its life at the Bear Rescue Center run by the NGO Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Karnataka Forest Department and Bannerghatta Biological Park.
An explosive device used by poachers burst inside the bear’s mouth, causing severe internal fractures to the bear’s jaws and skull.
The injured animal was spotted by a forest officer on Tuesday morning.
According to WSOS, when the animal was rescued, it appeared to be in severe pain. Further examination revealed that the bear had sustained severe internal injuries that were caused by a country made explosive device concealed inside food bait.
Dr Arun A Sha, Director, Wildlife Veterinary Operations of the Bear Rescue Centre said, “The male sloth bear is about six to seven years old and has suffered massive injury and internal damage to his mouth, head and neck regions. Based on the X-ray, 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 Satyanarayan co-founder of Wildlife SOS said that this 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,” he said.
He added that this is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, and if convicted the poachers could face a jail sentence of between three to seven years.