Some 15 years ago, we could see the men with 'dancing bears' even in the major cities of India. Thankfully such practices are eradicated due to the efforts of wildlife conservationists and the Indian Forest Departments in various states. Many sloth bears are rescued and conserved in bear sanctuaries. Some regions are declared as bear sanctuaries looking at the population of sloth bears. In this article, let us know about the top sloth bear sanctuaries in India!
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Photo Courtesy: Samadkottur
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
An interesting site awaits just about a 20km from the famous Hampi. A look from a watch tower opposite to Karikallu Gudda gives a splendid view of rocky landscapes along with the sloth bears. Yes, Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is about 50km from the historical city of Bellary.
The area was declared as a bear sanctuary because of the sizeable population of sloth bears. It is one of the largest sloth bear sanctuaries in Karnataka. Interestingly, the sanctuary is near to the mythological Kishkinda (Anegundi) where Lord Rama met Jambavantha (King of Bears) during his journey towards Sri Lanka.
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Daroji Sanctuary is one of the famous sloth bear sanctuaries in India and do not forget to add this to your list during your visit to Hampi!
Timings: 4 PM - 6 PM
Dancing Bear game is eradicated in India
Photo Courtesy: Steven Walling
Agra Bear Rescue Facility
There was a time when bears were domesticated and used for bear dancing in India. Wildlife SOS along with Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, came up with an idea to conserve sloth bears. Agra Bear Rescue Facility is a rehabilitation and conservation centre for sloth bears which was set up in1999.
It was a one-of-its-kind programme to rescue the bears which were traumatised by domestication. Today, Agra Bear Rescue Facility has a number of sloth bear population. Many sanctuaries were set for the conservation of bears after Agra Bear Rescue Facility was established.
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Agra Bear Rescue Facility is located inside Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Agra. It is around 220km from Delhi.
Bear at Daroji
Photo Courtesy: Srihari Kulkarni
Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary
In the backdrop of Jessore hills, a Sloth Bear Sanctuary was established in 1978. Today, it is well-known as Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary located in Banaskantha of Gujarat. The main purpose was to conserve the sloth bears. The sanctuary also has two temples which get many visitors. The semiarid and dry deciduous thorny shrub vegetation supports the sloth bear population in the region. Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is one of the top bear sanctuaries in India.
As citizens, it is important to understand the need to conserve the animal species. Unfortunately, even sloth bears come under the vulnerable species and there is a need to protect them from extinction.