Baby Beboo Bear
Deepa Balsavar
Deepa Balsavar
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
sloth bears poaching nature and wildlife conservation
picture book, non-fiction

One of the three bear species of India, the sloth bear - little Beebo, lives in the jungle with her mother and sibling. Mama sloth bear teaches them many important lessons - to hunt for termites, to climb trees and to find yummy honeycombs and wild bananas. Life in the jungle is fun for the little ones, though dangers lurk around the corners, the most dangerous of them all - Man!
People go to the jungles and capture sloth babies and take them to the cities, where they are taught to dance and perform to entertain passersby.
Far away from the leafy coolness of the jungle, the bears find life on the hot tar roads unbearable. Even harder is the fact that ropes have been passed through holes pierced through their noses to prevent them from escaping.

What can we do as enlightened citizens to discourage this cruel and crude way to treat animals in order to be entertained is the question raised.
The thought is something to mull over and act upon, long after the book has been put away.

Photographs provided by Wildlife SOS drive home the contrast of a happy bear family romping in the jungle to the dancing bear on the street all trussed up and bound.

A great tool in the hands of parents and teachers for discussions on prevention of cruelty to animals.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee