You are in:  United States  Change location

More News

New facility offers special care for baited bears
An up-to-date clinic made possible by a generous supporter is now enabling staff at a WSPA-funded sanctuary in Pakistan to give rescued bears the very best care and treatment. It currently provides veterinary care and a safe haven for 22 bears formerly used for baiting. Bear baiting is a savage blood sport in which dogs are set upon a tethered and defenseless bear. Mellun had been rescued from a landlord who had used him in baiting events for six years. Thousands of key religious leaders have denounced baiting as un-Islamic and so far 235 landlords – who run the events – have given it up.

A convert from cruelty: former baiter gives up last bear
WSPA member society the Bioresource Research Center of Pakistan (BRC) has seen its persistence and professionalism pay off again this month, as a former bear baiter gave his last remaining bear the chance of a better life at the Kund Park sanctuary. BRC’s effective local landlord networking approach had convinced Sufi Muhammad Rafique – once one of the most determined bear baiting organizers in Sindh province – to turn his back on this brutal sport in 2005. The BRC’s landlord networking team works by putting landlords who are against bear baiting – usually because Islam explicitly criticizes animal cruelty – in touch with those who still enable the sport, letting peer-to-peer discussions lay the foundation for removing the bears.

Member society’s dedication saves cubs from bear baiting
Their own safety was threatened as they rescued two bear cubs from poachers in Pakistan. In the same month, the dangers inherent in their vital work inspired BRC to hold a ceremony applauding the wildlife department field staff that work alongside them; some of whom have been tortured as they protected bear welfare. Sukkur is an area of Pakistan with a very high density of bear baiting events, but Wildlife Division staff are making life increasingly difficult for the landlords organizing bear baiting events. The field staff promised to keep going despite all the dangers, demonstrating what can only be called exceptional commitment to animal welfare.

Balkasar open for bears: Pakistan’s new WSPA-funded bear sanctuary
The sanctuary will also provide a refuge for the remaining 60-70 Asian black bears in Pakistan who are still being used in bear baiting, a cruel and illegal blood sport. Balkasar Sanctuary sits away from flood plains and close to the country’s capital, Islamabad. Its opening demonstrates the dedication and commitment of the BRC and Kund Park staff who - despite losing their homes and possessions, like so many Pakistanis - have remained committed to the cause. Many of the staff members and their families have even moved to Balkasar to rebuild their lives, as well as the lives of the bears in their care. Those bears will be brought to the Balkasar Sanctuary to live out their lives in a natural and peaceful environment.

Undercover bear baiting footage reveals corruption
Disturbing footage taken in July by WSPA member society the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) has proven that bear baiting events are taking place in Punjab and resulted in the investigation of wildlife officials for corruption. For two years, the Punjab Department of Wildlife and Parks has denied that bear baiting takes place in the region, refusing to accept BRC’s continuous undercover investigations into this illegal activity. This time they attended a baiting undercover to gather indisputable proof that this blood sport – which makes landowning hosts wealthy – continues. Attempting to remove bears during or immediately after a baiting event is dangerous – those with an interest in the profits may be armed.

Local networking saves bears from cruel contest
WSPA member society the Bioresource Research Centre Pakistan (PBRC) prevented a bear baiting event in February 2008, saving two bears from multiple violent attacks by powerful dogs. WSPA and PBRC’s local networking program enabled them to enlist support against the powerful landlords who arranged the event. Landlords stand to make large profits from bets placed on the bloody contests, despite this cruelty being illegal in Pakistan and contrary to religious teachings. The landlords own only the dogs used in baiting events, so Saad appealed directly to the bear owners. The two bears which seemed destined to suffer ripped muzzles and multiple wounds are now settling into a new life the Kund Park Bear Sanctuary.

More good news for Vietnam's bears
After lengthy consultation with WSPA, the Vietnamese Government has introduced improved legislation for the protection and management of captive bears in Vietnam. This is a great sign that the government is sticking to its commitment to phase out bear bile farms in Vietnam and ensure that no more bears are introduced into this cruel industry. In a landmark agreement last year, the government of Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding with WSPA and began to gradually phase out bear bile farming in their country. The new regulations aim to further protect Vietnam‘s national bear population from rampant hunting for their galls and other organs.

WSPA moves new resident to bear sanctuary
The villagers who discovered the bear could trace no signs of its mother and they captured it with a view to sell it in the local market. Maylu was handed to local wildlife officials by the army, and the wildlife department did their best to care for the distressed bear. Talks began at the wildlife department of moving Maylu to a zoo – at this point WSPA heard about Maylu and quickly set the wheels in motion to receive the bear into the renowned Kund Park Bear Sanctuary. Following examination by WSPA veterinary staff the wildlife officials released the bear into WSPA custody and plans were laid to move the bear to Kund Park near the Peshawar region of Pakistan.

Sanctuary Life is Good: An Update on the Three Rescued Bears at Balkasar
Many supporters were moved by the story of Leela, Kaali and Bhoori – the three bears that were rescued from bear baiting and moved to Balkasar Sanctuary in January. We are happy to report that the bears have now been moved out of quarantine and are adapting well to their lives in the sanctuary. She was very quiet and subdued when she arrived at the sanctuary and – as is common with bears used in baiting – her teeth and hind claws had been removed. We think this could be because she was always hungry and thirsty as a baited bear – her owners didn’t really understand how much she needed to eat and drink.

Listen to an interview with WSPA's bear expert!
Listen to an interview with WSPA's bear expert! Listen as renowned international bear expert and WSPA Wildlife Advisor Victor Watkins discusses his unique and exciting work rescuing bears around the world. Watkins discussed his and WSPA's work to rescue bears from cruelty and exploitation, as well as the welfare needs still facing bears today. Watkins also talked about WSPA's continuing work to bring an end to some of the cruelest practices on earth including bear baiting, bear farming, and the exploitation of captive bears for entertainment purposes. This is a great chance for supporters who are unable to attend Watkins' United States speaking tour to hear our bear expert live!

Three surviving bears rescued from Pakistan floods
Residents of the villages surrounding the Kund Park sanctuary spotted these bears and alerted BRC staff to their presence. 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. 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.

A new bear at Balkasar
Just a few weeks ago, Chowti, an Asiatic black bear, was tied up and attacked by dogs who bit and mauled her while people watched for entertainment. The six-year-old bear suffered her last bear baiting event just hours before she was rescued and brought to Balkasar sanctuary last week. Because she is blind, Chowti won’t be able to see the daylight when the shutters go up in the quarantine area – she’ll have to rely on her senses of smell and touch to find her way out. As for Fida Hussain, he will have to find a new way to support himself – alone.

WSPA urges Vietnam to stay on track to end bears suffering in bear farms
The fate of 80 illegally held and endangered Asiatic Black bears hangs in the balance as Vietnamese Authorities decide whether or not to remove them from cruel bear farms. In 2005 Vietnam announced their intention to phase out bear farming and introduced a law that stated any bears found without microchips in bear farms will be confiscated. Gosling added “An alarming new discovery has caused us even more concern as there seems to be a growing tourist industry around bear farming in the Quang Ninh province with tourists visiting the cruel farms to consume bear bile and meat and see demonstrations of the extraction process.

Page tools:
Share Share, Bookmark, Email or Print

Connect with WSPA on:

FacebookTwitterYouTube

Please support us

Help WSPA promote humane stray management globally

A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia