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“Wonderful !” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wildlife SOS Bear Sanctuary

Wildlife SOS Bear Sanctuary
Ranked #3 of 101 things to do in Agra
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Wildlife SOS - Agra Bear Rescue Facility is a home to 230 rescued dancing bears. Forest Department Admission fees: 500/- Foreigner 50/- Indian.(Only 10 minutes tour by security) DOES NOT GO FOR BEARS BUT GOVERNMENT. Guided Tour - 1500/- per person information & interaction with WSOS staff and guided 90 minutes tour. Wildlife SOS - Elephant Conservation & Care Centre is a home to 21 rescued circus & begging elephants. Guided Tour - 1500/- per person information & interaction with WSOS staff and guided 90 minutes tour.
Lyon, France
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2014

I've been sponsoring a bear at this centre and as a sponsor I had a private guided tour and of course, during this tour, I met "my" bear.
But even if you're not a sponsor of a bear, it is a wonderful place to visit : the bears are well taken care of (they have their own den, they have a pond for water, they have a platform to bask in the sun...) and the staff knows each of them.
You also will be explained about the dancing bears, the reconversion of the kalandars, the learning of a new job (they just don't take the bear and leave the kalandar with nothing), the children of the kalandars are given education. They do a really good job.
I spent a marvellous day there.
Then, after visiting the bear centre, I was taken to the Elephant haven (not far from the bear centre) where I met 7 elephants rescued either from the circus or rescued because they were used for work.
A day I will remember !

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Muriel U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Get close to the bears.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Apart from the Taj there's not a huge number of attractions in Agra so as animal lovers we opted for the bear sanctuary.

Initially we were put off by the charges at the front gate which are imposed by the government and don't seem to be anything to do with the sanctuary itself. We loudly protested about the prices and our guide haggled very well but what a shame because many people must have turned away at that point.

We enjoyed being shown around by Rinesh Ramen, who is a biologist and researcher and has a genuine love for the bears. The story of how the bears got there is very sad but the truly great work is what SOS do with the Kalendar people to try to prevent this happening in the future. Be warned, the film made me cry and I don't cry very easily! And be prepared to spend some money on some honey. And watch our for Richard Parker ;-)

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Clareno7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Meet Maya ...4600 kgs of Magic !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Like most people visiting Agra, this city was all about the monument of love and reputation that precedes it...but over the years and many visits later ...the monument is just that a structure ...a beautiful one at that. A visit to the Wildlife SOS center will tell you why love cannot be stone building...it is has to full of life and preferably weigh 4600 + kilos :)
Take time to visit this facility to meet the adorable elephants or the happy bunch of bears that look like black fur balls rolling in the sand. Make time to meet the incredible bunch of people who run this place. Everyone has a smile and a animal story to tell.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank AnitaJ25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“And they are free to live..”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2014

It was more than 25 years ago on a college study tour to Agra that I saw the dancing bears for the first time. I don't remember what I thought of it, I am sure I must have also stood by and watched. Realization came in much later once I was fully entrenched in the tourism industry and to see these beautiful creatures at the mercy of a string and ring made me sick and I always looked away. Is'nt that what we all do, look away wishing that this atrocity did not exist. But when I went to see the rescue centre two years ago.... it was with awe and some more tears at the work and space that has been created for the dancing bears. And last month....my heart let out a silent 'yipee' when Dr. Baiju mentioned that India is free from the atrocious tradition of the kalandars and the dancing bears. Super work and a great facility and a must visit for us Indians and also sensitize our children to what we have done to animals. Would also love to see the rehabilitation of all kinds of animals take place across the country. There are so many many more innocent animals and birds that suffer as they mean livelihood for humans. There are many more ways to earn bread.... like work for example. Lets leave the animals to live their lives in the jungles. Please....

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Shobafortravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, Ca
Level Contributor
141 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Unique, one-of-a-kind experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

This was one of the activities I was most looking forward to on my trip to India, and it surpassed my expectations. We had hired a car/driver from Jaipur to Agra, which was certainly the way to go, as we really saw and experienced the country passing through numerous towns and villages along the way. As other reviewers stated, you have to pay a government fee to enter the facility. Once you are there, you will be transported to a peaceful land of sloth bears. Don't bother paying the camera fee…it is more for commercial purposes. Our guide, Arpit, was enthusiastic, fun, and knowledgable. You get to see many of the bears closeup, and we even got the opportunity to feed some of the bears. They are sweet creatures, some of them traumatized from their past life as a dancing bear. We had to watch several short videos, which we were not keen on at first because we did not want to be indoors watching a video, but they were actually very informative. They provided meals and chai for us. We got a tour of their beautiful property on foot and by boat, and met some of the Kalandar people, who were the previous bear owners who now take care of the bears. It's a beautiful organization of reciprocity, as they not only rehab and provide a wonderful life for the bears, but also rehab the families who once owned the bears, teaching them valuable trades so they can make money on their own, employing them on the property, and providing an education for their children. Worth every penny. Allow for at least 3 hours for your visit, although we spent 5 hours just watching the bears and meeting other local animals on the premises. Richard, the labrador retriever, hung out with us on most of the tour, and he's also a sweetheart.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank LApuplover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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