Tuesday, 21 May 2013

An update on the bears rescued in February

This is an update on the four bears rescued from the Indo-Nepal border in February of this year. For the original news piece on the rescue, please click here to read it on our website.

Michael Oreo

Michael Oreo loves the fresh fruit basket
delivered to his den every morning!
Michael Oreo (formerly known as Oreo, but renamed Michael Oreo in honour of one of our biggest and best supporters) is three years old, and was rescued from the Nepalese border by Wildlife SOS in February this year. He weighed 86kg, and has put on a further 8kg since his arrival at International Animal Rescue’s Agra Bear Sanctuary. His keeper says the bear is a big fan of porridge and fruit, and particularly enjoys the sugarcane enrichment! He also enjoys playing with the ball in his den.
He was recently introduced to Goldie, one of the other bears seized in the raid. They get on really well, and enjoy playing together. Michael Oreo loves playing with water, and splashes it out of his drinking tub at every opportunity! He is surprisingly bold around his keeper, and does not seem worried by strangers.
This lovely bear is undergoing treatment for a mild respiratory tract infection as diagnosed from his initial chest radiograph and blood analysis results. Sadly his dental exam revealed that all his canine and incisor teeth are missing. This will be closely monitored by his keeper to ensure that he can eat properly and that any infection (as a result of the crude way his teeth were knocked out by poachers) is caught and treated swiftly.


Truffles waits by the door of his den hoping
for a second breakfast!
Truffles is a mischievous and affectionate bear, aged around fifteen months old. He is still in quarantine after his dramatic rescue from the Nepalese border in February, along with three others.
Touchingly, Truffles was so ecstatic when the coarse rope - which had been forced through his soft muzzle by the poachers - was cut away, that he rubbed his nose along the ground before dashing outside into his run, running round and round as if to celebrate his freedom.
His keeper describes him as a happy-go-lucky bear, who greets him with “bear hugs” and nudges when he arrives each morning with breakfast. He is a bear who enjoys his food, and has grown very fond of the keeper who supplies it!
Fortunately, Truffles’ dental examination did not reveal any serious issues, and the visiting dental team from the UK (blog post to follow!) gave them a thorough clean. However, it was clear that there had been an attempt to break his teeth when he was very young, as his teeth have grown through with the tips broken off. This does not seem to have caused him any problems, though.
Truffles’ love of food has resulted in a weight gain of 5kg, putting him at 67kg. He loves porridge so much he puts his whole face into his bowl rather comically to make sure he doesn’t miss a single precious oat! He likes to play with fruit before munching it, and like, Michael Oreo, enjoys splashing in his water tub, treating it like a miniature swimming pool!
Unlike Michael Oreo, Truffles is quite wary of strangers, and prefers them to keep their distance.


Kandi is doing well in quarantine
Kandi is believed to be around two years old, and was rescued alongside Michael Oreo, Truffles and Goldie in February. He is quite small for his age and has lots of growing to do, weighing only around 60kg. He is a friendly little bear, and enjoys lots of attention, making him very popular with the keepers.
His appetite is quite small, and he will often not finish his evening meal of porridge, but tucks into the fruit with gusto. He loves to splash around with his water, and when the keepers hose his den down, he tries to wrestle the hosepipe away from them to spray the water on himself!
Kandi has a painful infected injury to one of his claws, but it is responding well to treatment. It hasn’t dampened Kandi’s spirits, and he seems to be enjoying his temporary stay in quarantine.


Goldie is blind, and suffered terribly at the hands
of his captors
Goldie has the saddest story of the four bears rescued in February. Aged just five years old, he is already blind in both eyes. He weighed 98kg on arrival, which for a male bear of his age is a little underweight. He displayed signs of tremendous hunger, yet he was not eating properly. Consequently, one of the on-site vets sedated him and did a full medical examination of him.
Thanks to this diligence, it was discovered that poor Goldie was suffering from a serious infection in a rotten upper canine tooth. His Kalendar “master” has been particularly brutal and careless towards Goldie, and he has probably suffered from unbelievable pain throughout his life. Fortunately, the dental team from the UK were in Agra in April, and removed this tooth. Goldie is now enjoying his diet of porridge and fruits, and has put on weight since the successful operation.
It is not yet known if his sight will be able to be restored or if the damage done to his eyes (probably by the rope through his nose rubbing on his optic nerve) is permanent. What we do know is that if it is possible to restore his sight, then our fantastic vet team will do it!

The rehabilitation and lifelong care of these four sloth bears will be expensive. If you can, please visit our website to make a donation. If you are unable to make a financial contribution, please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, via email and any other way you can think of to help raise awareness of the work we are doing to protect India's bears!

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