Jul 9, 2008
WSPA member society Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) in Pakistan has rescued four bears from being used in brutal bear baiting events.
Once again BRC and WSPA’s landlord network proved to be amazingly valuable. The network includes former organizers of bear baiting events – locally influential people who have been convinced to give up this bloody sport and support our work.
Just after BRC and the Punjab Wildlife Department managed to prevent a separate bear baiting event – these are banned in Pakistan but still occur – BRC’s field team received a report of four bears being held in two villages in the vicinity.
With the support of widely respected landlords Mr. Saad Ahmed Niazi, Mr. Jan Ahmed Ali and Mr. Mian Ajmal, the team successfully engaged in day long talks with the bear owners about giving up the bears.
In exchange for the bears the families received support in starting up an alternative livelihood – running motorcycle rickshaws – which will provide a steady income and prevent them from having to return to the bear baiting business.
“The latest achievements of BRC’s landlord network and alternative livelihood program show just how effective this approach is in building opposition against bear baiting and rescuing bears at the same time”, said Jan Schmidt-Burbach, WSPA Wildlife Veterinary Programs Officer for Asia.
The three Asiatic black bears and one brown bear were in poor health at the time of confiscation. They were immediately transported to BRC and WSPA’s sanctuary at Kund Park where they were examined and treated by veterinarian Dr. Nasir.
All four bears are now recovering and enjoying the natural enclosures and adequate diet provided at the sanctuary.
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