Bears succumbing to TB: BBP seeks expert advice

BANGALORE: Following the death of 13 sloth bears since January, the authorities of Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) are seeking the help of experts in Cochin and Delhi to save the bears from

Published: 12th March 2012 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:33 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: Following the death of 13 sloth bears since January, the authorities of Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) are seeking the help of experts in Cochin and Delhi to save the bears from dying due to tuberculosis.

Of the 13 bears that have died in the last two and a half months, eleven have died of TB and two others due to snake bite and old age.

As per the Supreme Court directives, a rescue centre has been opened at the BBP to house the sloth bears rescued from the Kalandars (bear charmers) of West Bengal and other parts of the country. Today, there are 104 sloth bears in the rescue centre. These bears have contracted Tuberculosis as they remained with the charmers most of the time.

The bears in wild are free from any diseases since they are absolutely away from human contact. The BBP authorities have taken the death seriously and have written to experts in Cochin and Delhi to come here and conduct a check-up to find out how many more bears have TB.

Besides, the services of National TB Institute are also requisitioned for the same purpose. Last year, only six bears died but in the last two and a half months already 13 have died due to TB. Dr R Raju, Executive Director, Bannerghatta Biological Park, told Express that unlike human beings it is very difficult to find out the number of sloth bears suffering from TB.

Mere collection of blood sample does not help as the veterinary doctors need to conduct the sputum test. Collection of the sputum from the bear is totally ruled out. The main symptoms of TB are disinterest in food and dullness. It is very difficult for the animal keepers to keep a tab on each and every bear as there may be other reasons for the animals to remain silent. Most of the times they come to know that the bear has TB only after conducting postmortem, he added.

He said the experts are expected to arrive in a one week to conduct the medical examination of all the bears in the rescue centre. Since it is a rescue centre, the authorities cannot send the sloth bears into any wildlife sanctuary or Daroji Bear Park as the bears are born wild. The only option is to have them in the rescue centre. Once the experts release the medical chart of each bear, they will keep the bears having TB in a separate enclosure for treatment. “If the bears are in group, going near them itself is a risky thing,” he added.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp