Bengaluru: In a two-hour risky operation, Wildlife SOS volunteers and forest officers rescued a male sloth bear that had accidentally fallen into a 40 ft deep well in Tumakuru, 70 km from Bengaluru and released it back into the wild on Friday.
The bear had fallen into a well on a private farm and the farmer, who heard its cries, brought its plight to the attention of the forest department, which, in turn, contacted the Wildlife SOS team at Bannerghatta near Bengaluru.
A four-member Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Team led by Dr. Nithin K and forest officers rushed to the Tumakuru farm carrying the necessary rescue equipment and lowered a safety net into the well to contain the bear. The animal was mildly sedated before it was safely lifted from the deep well. It appeared to have fallen into it while trying to reach the honeycombs on its edges.
Mr. Kartick Satyanarayan, the co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said the rescue operation was nerve-wracking as the safety of the public and the animal had to be kept in mind. “We are grateful to the forest department for its promptness in contacting the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response unit. Over the years the natural habitat of the sloth bears has shrunk, leaving them as a small minority in a rapidly changing human-dominated landscape,” he regretted.
Dr, Arun A Sha, director, Wildlife SOS Veterinary Operations, observed that there had been a significant increase in such accidents involving animals in the state. “Uncovered wells pose a huge risk to the safety of both people and animals. Wildlife SOS urges people to cover open wells to avoid such accidents,” he implored.