Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Photo - Man and Sloth Bear Riding a Bicycle

Ran Singh Munda riding a bicycle with Rani, his pet sloth bear
Now the first thing you need to know here is that sloth bears generally do not make good pets. In fact, the website Planet Deadly rates them as the third most dangerous animal in Asia (Just behind the Bengal tiger). In America, bears are an apex predator, so they don't fear anything. In Asia there are animals like tigers and lions, so sloth bears have learned to very aggressive.

While out gathering firewood, Mr. Munda found an orphaned sloth bear cub, and brought it home to keep it as a pet. The bear, named Rani (Queen in the local language), did well under the care of Munda and his daughter. Local television did a "feel good" story about how the bear had been rescued and was now part of the family. Unfortunately, local wildlife officials heard about this, then came and arrested Munda, since keeping a sloth bear was illegal. A villager with little education, he had no idea he was breaking any law - He was just saving a bear that would have died without his care. After public outcry, which included many wildlife conservationists, he was released. Rani was taken to a local zoo, and later to a wildlife rescue center run by Wildlife SOS.

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