Wildlife SOS was created by a group of committed individuals who believe that it is not too late to help and save wildlife. Wildlife SOS believes that rapid action needs to be taken by every individual in this lifetime to make a change that will conserve and protect the environment and wildlife.It is time to catalyze ourselves into action and spearhead initiatives to prevent wildlife from being hunted, poached or traded and encourage protection of the habitat which nurtures wildlife.
The Wildlife SOS philosophy
All of us have one life, and it’s not very long. In the short period that we have, each one of us must make a difference! All along, mankind has exploited wildlife, forests and natural resources in the name of development and growth. It’s now time for us to give something back to nature. Our motto is “Give Back To Nature”. With your support we can help wildlife in the fight for survival.
Wildlife SOS is a registered Non Profit Charity in India and USA
Sloth Bear Conservation & Rescue
Wildlife SOS has a national mission to conserve sloth bears in the
wild and rehabilitate sloth bears in captivity, especially those held
by the Qalandars. Wildlife SOS rescues "dancing" bears from
the Qalandar, provides health care and nutritious food, and houses
them in spacious enclosures."
Wildlife S.O.S Campaign to rescue and Rehabilitate India's
Under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, The Indian Sloth
Bear is given the same protection as the Tiger. Yet crimes against it
are committed openly across India as these bears are made to 'dance'
for entertainment using tools of cruelty and torture, by members of
the Kalandar tribe.
Since 1995, Wildlife S.O.S has been working to 'free' the dancing
bear and bring an end to this illegal trade that is rapidly depleting
the wild population of sloth bears (Melursus ursinus).
The Story of a Dancing Bear:
This brutal practice of dancing bears entered India about 300 years
This trade is a sad story of poaching of tiny week old cubs, brutal
killing of the mother, trafficking of bear cubs only so they could be
brutalized with excruciatingly cruel and painful training methods.
It is indeed a shameful exploitation of wildlife to see these shy
creatures of the forests stripped of all their dignity and wild
behavior being made to jump up and down in pain with a stick and the
flicking of a rope. The baby bears undergo the utmost trauma when it
is transported from one underground wildlife market to another till it
reaches the kalandar villages where it is trained for its short and
brutal life as a 'dancing bear'.
As they grow up, their teeth are knocked out with a metal rod; male
cubs are castrated using crude methods without anesthesia, claws
chopped off and a red hot iron needle is forced through their delicate
soft muzzle, through which a thick coarse rope is thrust. This wound
is not allowed to heal, so that when the rope is pulled, the bear
jumps up in pain making it appear like the bear is 'dancing', much to
the amusement and entertainment of tourists and bystanders who are
ignorant about the truth. They often pay the Kalandar, thereby
unwittingly encouraging him. The Bear's life is spent tethered to a
four foot long rope and with a severely deprived diet.
The Rescue of a dancing bear and the rehabilitation of the
Garnering support from the Government and adopting a holistic,
practical approach, Wildlife S.O.S used a scientific approach to
tackle the Dancing Bear issue. Kalandars were convinced to voluntarily
surrender their Bears to take up alternative and legal livelihoods
with seed funds and training provided by Wildlife S.O.S. The Bears
were microchipped to prevent replacement and entry of new bears. The
kalandars signed agreements commiting to not dancing Bears or using
wildlife again. Wildlife S.O.S provides Kalandars training and support
to establish them carpet weaving, tailoring, grocery shops, rickshaws,
embroidery, jewellery making as well as support education initiates to
create a new literate, informed and educated younger generation of
Kalandars. Wildlife S.O.S subsidizes school fees, uniforms and books.
Since December 2002, Wildlife S.O.S, working in tandem with forest
departments has rescued over 400 'dancing bears' from a life of
bondage. These bears have been rehabilitated at Wildlife S.O.S rescue
centres run in collaboration with respective State Forest Departments,
located at Agra, Bangalore, Bhopal, Hyderabad and West Bengal.
To watch The Last Dance, a film that showcases Wildlife S.O.S's
efforts to rescue India's Dancing Bears, visit www.thelastdance.info
Bear Rescue and Kalandar rehabilitation work is supported by
international partners like International Animal Rescue, Free the
Bears Fund Inc. Australia, One Voice France & Humane Society
Around 300-400 Dancing Bears still dance on India's street and
await rescue. Wildlife S.O.S looks for your support to provide a home
to these bears and develop the extension allotted to the Agra Bear
Rescue Facility. This facility managed by Wildlife S.O.S in
collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department is the largest
Rehabilitation center in the world for rescued sloth bears spread now
over an area of 160 acres near the Taj Mahal in Agra.
How you can help?
-Don't pay money to street performers working with wild animals,
like bears, monkeys and snakes. For its only after you stop
encouraging this form of entertainment will these street performers
think of adopting alternative humane livelihoods.
-Spread the message around- Educate friends and family and
sensitize them to issues pertaining to exploitation of animals in
-Set a bear free: Support the bears rescued from the 'Dancing Bear'
trade where these bears are given the best of medical treatment and
care and they all now spend their time frolicking in the ponds,
smacking on honey and fresh fruits, climbing trees, playing and having
fun and living their lives the way they should be as bears and not
objects of entertainment! 2000 $ rehabilitates a Kalandar and rescues
-Wildlife S.O.S is also involved in scientific conservation
research including habitat conservation where agricultural land
bordering forests is purchased and returned to nature 25$ helps buy
and protect 500 square feet of Bear habitat
-Don't purchase artifacts, products made of bear hair, claws etc.
Sloth Bears are also killed for their gall bladder; their bile is used
in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Bear cubs are exported to South East
Asian countries and killed for Bear Paw Soup.
-If you have any information about any illegal trade and
exploitation of wild animals, please contact us at the e-mail and
mobile no. mentioned below.Your identity would be kept confidential.
-To make an online contribution to support Wildlife S.O.S, please
For more information on Wildlife S.O.S's Dancing Bear Rescue,
Rehabilitation and Conservation Efforts and Kalandar Community
Rehabilitation Programme, please contact Wildlife S.O.S (contact