When Shankar called saying he was going to the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) and would I like to go along, I jumped at the opportunity. The last time I went was with Usha and it’s been a while.
It’s always amazing to see Saleem at work : whether he is handling a cobra or a small squirrel or a crow pheasant : his way with animals is admirable. His work at the Bannerghatta Rehabilitation Centre (BRC) housed under the WRRC is well-known, especially amongst nature and animal lovers.
In the compound of the BRC you will find many members of the animal kingdom : tortoises, owls, jackals, monkeys, kites and snakes : all housed with some injury or captured from illegal traders and recuperating under the expert hands of Saleem and his band of dedicated volunteers.
You will also find many released members : the resident Brahminy and the crow pheasant for example : who refuse to leave even after having been released. The crow pheasant, a usually really very shy bird, has no qualms about climbing all over your chair and pecking at you for attention. It then hops merrily onto Saleem’s shoulder and tries to dig out insects from his long mass of curls, while Saleem carries out a conversation with the bird.
Despite all its funding problems, it’s amazing how the Centre continues to function. They have recently created a big pond for rainwater harvesting, all with the help of volunteers : now they’re just waiting for the rains to come and fill it up. Meanwhile, many birds and insects have already started frequenting the area.
When we reached, Saleem was treating a poisoned cobra, which had been rescued from Kanakpura road after which he turned his attention to a little baby squirrel which had been brought in by a young lady. It’s non stop action for Saleem as animals continue coming in from different parts of the city, usually by volunteers who pick them up and reach them to BRC, which is quite a long way from civilisation.
If you want to know more about BRC (a sister concern of CUPA), visit this page. It also has details about how you can offer funds or even help mobilize funds for the Centre and/or work as a volunteer. You can also go and visit the centre to find out how you can help and the kind of work they do.
The access is through Bannerghatta National Park. You need to take the left fork (towards the car park) before you enter the park. After the car park, you need to go off road for a while : around 2-3 kms of really bad road – before you reach the Centre. If you’re going by 2 wheeler or a smaller car, you’ll need to proceed with care!
Bannerghatta Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC), Survey No. 129, Jigni Hobli,
Anekal Taluk, Bannerghatta,
Bangalore – 560 083