An Indian sloth bear named Rangila was smuggled into Nepal as a cub and has spent years being used as a “dancing” bear. Thankfully, after 19 years in captivity, a chance for a better life came together with a rescue operation, but, unfortunately, instead of being transferred to a place where he would receive proper care and respect, the unlucky animal and another bear, Sridevi, were dropped off at a zoo in Kathmandu. Sridevi’s life tragically came to an end at the facility which has been criticized for keeping animals in poor condition. Thankfully, Rangila escaped a similar fate and his long wait in captivity is now, at last, coming to an end. Thanks to the efforts of three charities, coordinated by Wildlife SOS, Rangila was finally rescued and is now on his way to his new home in India.

It took seven months of intense negotiations for Wildlife SOS to finally be able to get all the necessary paperwork needed to move ahead with the rescue of Rangila. Afterward, a special rescue team set out right away to get the bear and bring him to the Agra Bear Rescue Facility funded by the UK by International Animal Rescue (IAR).

Rangila has a long journey ahead of him, but the rescue team will be carefully monitoring the rescued bear’s condition all throughout the trip, as well as making frequent stops so that he can eat and rest. The animal ambulance Rangila is traveling in is accompanied by a convoy of police and support vehicles.


Rangila and his friend both displayed signs of serious trauma – they were cowering and pacing back and forth. Their teeth had been knocked out and their noses pierced with a hot iron rod, after which a rope was forced through the wound. This is done to control the bears and make them “dance.” The injuries that the animals had suffered at the hands of people were heartbreaking.

The Wildlife SOS team consists of experts who have cared for many rescued dancing bears and will do all in their power to really change Rangila’s life.

At the Bear Rescue Center in India, Rangila will receive extensive veterinary care, he will have a large forested enclosure with a pool at his disposal, a lot of trees to climb, as well as the companionship of other bears, shared Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS.


“We are so pleased that Rangila is in safe hands now and on his way home to India,” said Alan Knight, IAR CEO. “IAR has been involved in the dancing bear rescue project since 2002 and we are proud to support the ongoing care of the hundreds of bears now living peaceful, pain-free lives in sanctuaries in India.”

Because of the most recent rescue mission, Rangila will now be one of those bears.

To learn more about Wildlife SOS and support their work, click here.


All image source: Wildlife SOS