I may have crossed the border of your country. But, the partition rules do not apply for my kind. The Indian government never gave us Aadhaar cards or passports. So, I am not an Indian citizen. Moreover, Asian black bears are native to Bangladesh too. It is you - the hoomans who invaded our territory, destroyed our home, and set up borders for yourselves.
I was just looking for food. I may have taken a longer stroll than usual and crossed into your territory. I did not even attack any of you. Well, we have a bad reputation for being aggressive toward hoomans, but I have already explained why. You do not taste as good as food, I heard. Moreover, we bears are mainly herbivorous; that missing chicken of yours, it was not me, it must have been a fox or a civet.
I was eying that honeycomb on that big old tree when one of you crossed path with me. I do not know why he screamed! It was so loud that it scared me a lot and I ran away.
I was roaming through those tea gardens. This is the place where my forefathers used to dwell in. It was a dense forest back then. I was a bit nostalgic. Then I suddenly noticed a boy coming my way. He was so close. I ran again. But there were more of you around who kept chasing me.
They surrounded me and beat me up with heavy sticks and thick tree branches. I passed out.
When I woke up, I discovered myself in this cage. 10 feet long, 8 feet wide. I was in immense pain but managed to stand up on my feet. You would be surprised to see me standing just like you, but it is something we often do, effortlessly.
I looked around. The place is full of cages of various shapes. The inhabitants - I know them all. Those hoolock gibbons - very funny, and loud. They use their hands more than their legs. That beautiful little fox -must have been caught trying to find its food in your chicken coops. Snakes, deer, birds - all my jungle buddies are here. But no jungle.
As the years passed by, I started to know about this place bit by bit. It is known as a health care facility for wildlife. Injured wild animals are brought here for treatment. How do they get injured, I wonder?
One day, a hooman came visiting. He had so many questions. Standing right beside my cage, he was talking to one of the hoomans who feeds us here. He asked why all the healthy animals are not being released in the jungle yet. The caregiver replied, empty cages looked bad. So they wait for new animals to arrive, and when they do, some older inhabitants get released.
I have been living here for a long time -16 years to be specific. I am sick no more! In fact, I would not be sick in the first place if you hoomans had not tried to kill me for no reason! When my injuries healed, I should have been released long ago. You know what, I think they are not going to do that. I am going to die here. Just like the albino fishing cat in the next cage.
I never saw a "white tiger" before. That is what hoomans called him. He looked strange. But we grew a kind of kinship between us. When he was a small cub, he was washed downriver from India during a rainy season. He was here for 10 years until his last breath. From that, I know, I will have to face the same fate. I can not forget the day my friend was taken out of his cage for the first (and last) time in 10 years. He had to die to secure his freedom!
I heard when hoomans confine other hoomans without proper reasons, protests take place. There are hooman laws that declared cooping up innocent hoomans illegal. There are hooman rights organisations that stand up when something like this happens. But locking us up for our whole lifespan apparently has no legal consequences. At least, this is what I felt here.
A lot of hoomans come every day to see us. Old ones, young ones, males and females with their cubs in their laps. I heard they pay money to get a chance to see us. I do not understand why they would do it. I would not go to visit them if someone paid me!
Suddenly, the visitors stopped coming. I could not figure out why. After a few days, I learned that some tiny living beings attacked the hoomans who came out of their cages. Therefore, they chose to stay inside. I heard things were going out of control of the hoomans. Many felt sick, some were starving, some got bored and stressed, and so on.
I totally understand how you may feel. I mean, who else would! I feel bad for you, hoomans. I wish these small creatures, whoever they are, left you alone, so you could roam around minding your own business. I hope you would continue to be free and never be locked up in your cages against your will.