Bear Trust International
Youth Environmental Programs
HNG University in Gujarat, India
IUCN Sloth Bear Expert Team
IUCN Human-Bear Conflict Expert Team
Living With Wildlife Foundation
We have selected three villages in Gujarat, India where sloth bear attacks are highest
There is an urgent need to help children, adults, and sloth bears in the State of Gujarat, India where 60-100 sloth bear attacks occur annually. Some injuries lead to human death. All attacks lead to sloth bear death.
Here’s the thing: it’s preventable.
Gujarat is not large, it’s a little bigger than the state of Florida. If we had 60-100 bear attacks on people in Florida, I know we would find a way to end them. We need to reach out and help our friends (human and furry) in Gujarat where resources and expertise are limited.
That’s where we come in. A big part of the solution is to provide accurate information about how to stay safe around wild sloth bears. Sounds easy, but it’s complicated by the fact that most local adults are not literate. Okay, that just means we adjust a little. So, we’ll design a place-based, “on-the-ground” solution.
Addressing the Need
We are creating and disseminating a place-based, culturally-sensitive outreach program to empower people in Gujarat by providing accurate information about how to stay safe around wild sloth bears. We will also help raise conservation awareness about sloth bears, which are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
To ensure success, we’ve partnered with one of the world’s leading sloth bear scientists who lives in India (Dr. Nishith Dharaiya) and an expert educator who has disseminated outreach to over 5 million people (Dr. Jennifer Sevin).
We will directly impact 1,500 school children in the 3 areas where sloth bear attacks are highest. We have selected to focus on school children instead of their parents because the children are relatively more literate and they will bring the information home to their parents. We also recognize the need to empower local managers, so we will design and implement workshops for at least 100 forest staff. We will measure the success of our program by evaluating the number of human-bear conflicts after the implementation of the program, and with pre and post surveys.
Local people want this program. The local government wants this program. Sloth bear conservation needs this program.
Your donation will get us started. Please help us save lives and donate today.
Photos of human injuries: Dr. N. Dharaiya. Copyright for photo of sloth bear: shutterstock