Meet our hairy friends, the Sloth Bears in Daroji Bear Sanctuary
Daroji is a small town where one of India’s very few bear sanctuary is located. It is called the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, but locally it is known as Karadi. It is home to Sloth Bears also called Melursus Ursinus.
The bear sanctuary is located in the Sandur Taluk of Bellary district in the state of Karnataka. In 1994 about 55.87 sq kms of the Billikallu reserve was named as the Daroji Bear Sanctuary. The sanctuary is about 350 kms from Bangalore and about 15 kms from the World Heritage site of Hampi. It is also the only sanctuary in North Karnataka.
The Daroji Bear Sanctuary has open scrub forests with fallen boulders, outcrop of rocks and caves. The caves are used as shelter by the Sloth Bears. The bears are vegetarian and feed on fruits, honey, tuber, termites and insects. If the Sloth Bear stays near a human settlement, then they will love to add maze crops and sugar canes to their diet. The Sloths are also fond of the mahua flowers and the ber fruit. The bears usually hunt for food at night and relax during the day. Sloths in a playful mood will climb onto the palm trees to steal the toddy fruit.
The rocky hump that stretches between Ramasagar and Daroji has been the home to these bears for years. At the time of the opening of the sanctuary, there was nothing but barren land with thorny trees all around. With the help of the nearby villagers and workers, the sanctuary has tuned into a lush green forest with ebullient species of local flora and fauna. One of the most interesting part of the Sloth Bear sanctuary is the thin trail with dense forest on either side of it. Walking on this path, you will reach the observatory tower. You can watch the Sloth Bears from this tower.
There approximately 120 Sloth Bears residing in this sanctuary. Other animals are Hyena, Leopards, Star Tortoise, Pangolins, Wild Boars, Mongoose, Monitor Lizards, Jackals and many more. There have also been 27 different species of butterflies and approximately 90 species of birds identified in the sanctuary.
The most ideal time to visit the Sloth Bear sanctuary is in between the months of August and April. If one wishes to see the Sloth Bears, then you must go to the tower and wait for them to come out of their caves. The sanctuary is open for its visitors from 6 am to 6 pm. Visitors are also advised to wear dark color clothes and avoid white or bright color outfits. You should also carry a camera and a pair of binoculars.
There are both government and private accommodations from which you can choose the one you prefer. You can reach the sanctuary by road or rail. The nearest railway station is Hospet, where trains from Hubli and Bangalore are available.
It is beautiful place to visit. If you are a wildlife lover then you should definitely visit the Sloth Bear sanctuary once.