Aug 3, 2010
Although the news from Pakistan continues to be grim, with thousands of people and animals dead, we can draw some comfort from the rescue of three bears over the weekend.
Fakhar Abbas, Director of WSPA member society the Bioresearch Center (BRC), confirmed yesterday that Babu, Sohrab and Maylu, three of the bears that were housed at Kund Park, have been rescued from the flooded area and transported to Balkasar where they are being held in safety.
Residents of the villages surrounding the Kund Park sanctuary spotted these bears and alerted BRC staff to their presence. Although much of BRC’s equipment was destroyed in the floods, the staff managed to obtain three dart guns and tranquilizer medication from three different local authorities, so that they could respond to reports of bears being sighted in the local area and rescue them.
Despite the inaccessible roads and vague information on the location of the bears, staff from BRC bravely ventured into the flooded areas in search of these bears. Once they located the bears, they managed to tranquillize each bear and move it into a transport cage.
Once sedated and in the transport cages, the bears – accompanied by a BRC veterinarian – were transported to Balkasar on trucks. Although the journey between Balkasar and Kund Park usually takes about two hours, given the condition of the roads and the crowds of displaced people, it took them well over four hours to make the same journey.
Fortunately, the newest WSPA-funded bear sanctuary at Balkasar can provide a safe haven for these rescued bears. The Balkasar sanctuary is still very much under construction, as it was designed to house bears that are yet to be rescued as part of WSPA and BRC’s continuing campaign against bear baiting. Although far from complete, it is an adequate new home for Babu, Sohrab and Maylu, especially since the crucial quarantine pens were already complete.
As can be expected, the three bears were very stressed when they first recovered from their sedatives. They did start to calm down once the water pools in their dens started to work, and their health is being closely monitored by the BRC veterinarian.
Although the fate of the Kund Park sanctuary, and the remaining 20 bears is unclear for now, WSPA remains committed to the campaign against bear baiting.
Your continuing support for this work is invaluable; there is still work to be done on completing the Balkasar sanctuary, and to rescue bears that continue to suffer in the cruel practice of bear baiting.
Read more about bear baiting here >>