Kartick Satyanarayan works tirelessly to save India’s wild animals from illegal captivity and poaching -- most notably rescuing hundreds of “dancing” bears.
Known by many in India as the “Bear Man,” Kartick Satyanaran is the co-founder of Wildlife SOS -- a non-profit wildlife conservation organization famous for its campaign to rescue every “dancing” bear in the country. For many years, “dancing” sloth bears were the only livelihood of the Kalandar community, but the practice involves extreme cruelty by modern standards, endangers the bear population and is illegal today. He began the organization with his aunt and fellow animal rights champion Geeta Seshamani in 1995, and since then they have rescued over 550 bears.
Satyanaran began rescuing animals as a child, with a particular tendency to rescue snakes. Although he majored in business management in college, he returned to his early love of animal as a field assistant tracking tigers for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Now, through Wildlife SOS, he runs rescue and rehabilitation centers for India’s sloth bears, elephants, leopards and more, as well as several conservation and forest watch projects.
“India will no longer have to witness this cruel barbaric practice [of dancing bears] which has been here for centuries. … The Qalandar people will rise above all this cruel barbaric past that they’ve lived all their lives. And the beautiful bears can of course live in the wild again.”