You are in:  United States  Change location

More News

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.

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.

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.

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.

Freedom for three more bears
In exchange for handing over the bears, the BRC team has supplied each owner with a general store to run and agreed to support their children’s education – all in an effort to ensure that the former owners do not resort back to bear baiting as a source of income. Immediately after the handovers took place, Bhoori, Leela and Kaali were transported to Balkasar, where the staff carefully removed the rings that pierced the bears’ sensitive muzzles, cut away the leashes that wound tightly around their necks, and treated their wounds. As a young bear, her front teeth were removed and claws were cut in preparation for bear baiting.

Bears escape cruel ‘dancing’ destiny
Four sloth bears, including a cub, were rescued from a life spent ‘dancing’ by authorities in Nepal last week, acting on information provided by WSPA member society the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The three adult bears had been trained to dance and were destined to be sold to Kalandars – nomadic bear owners – in India. This illegal cross-border wildlife trade in poached bears sells the animals into a lifetime of suffering, as they are forced into unnatural behaviors, become ill from poor diets, and often develop repetitive behaviors that indicate mental trauma. WTI and WSPA initiated the Integrated Sloth Bear Conservation and Welfare Project in 2005 to work towards the holistic conservation of sloth bears in India, by providing alternative livelihoods for Kalandars and ensuring that the bears do not endure a life of suffering.

Korea displays commitment to end bear farming
The approval of this proposal is a compelling sign that the Korean government recognizes the need to end bear farming. Green Korea United and WSPA aim to work with officials from the Ministry of Environment to ensure the research project obtains all the evidence needed and that the research phase is completed as quickly as possible. A logical next step to this proposal would be to establish a ban on captive breeding of bears, meaning that no new bears will be born into a life of suffering on Korean bear farms. WSPA would like to see this happen as soon as possible and we hope to work with government officials for this.

Romania’s 52nd bear is rescued
They have safely moved him to the Zarnesti bear sanctuary, where he will now live alongside five other young bears. Brought to the guesthouse by local forestry workers, the bear – who is about one year old and called Tello – was kept in a 13x13-foot metal cage. A member of the public spotted and reported Tello’s captivity and a team comprised of the police, Fagaras County’s Association of Hunters and Fishermen and staff from the Zarnesti bear sanctuary organized his safe rescue. The pubic, authorities and media are now helping to ensure our message gets through to those people who may have previously considered keeping a bear.

WSPA launches new website to educate Traditional Asian Medicine users on bear farming
More than 12,000 endangered Asiatic black bears are cruelly confined in bear farms, facilities at which many are kept in tiny cages and their bile is regularly extracted and sold for use in Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM). WSPA has encouraged traditional medicine groups worldwide to support a statement agreeing that there are good herbal alternatives to bear bile - 71 traditional Asian medicine associations from eight countries have already expressed their support. The letters sent to retailers will include a link for retailers to learn more about bear farming and obtain a template letter (in English or Chinese) that they can use when contacting Chinese companies about their bear bile policies.

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