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Bear cub rescued by Tennessee Member Society
ABR is a unique black bear rehabilitation facility located in the Smokey Mountains that has been rescuing and releasing bears for over a decade. Lisa wrote to WSPA to let us know about their latest bear cub and his journey to recovery at ABR. The other day he bit me and huffed at me, but the bite was not as bad as that of a mosquito and the "huff" was more like a tiny sneeze. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many more out there that we haven't found yet, and I wish we could help them all.

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.

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.

Twenty years of bear care
Three orphaned bear cubs have been released back into the wild after spending five months at Idaho Black Bear Rehab (IBBR)’s pioneering centre. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources brought the tiny cubs to non-profit IBBR which is celebrating 20 years of successful rehabilitation and release of black bears. State fish and wildlife agencies bring bears to IBBR because of the lack of suitable facilities and rehabilitators in their own states. Sally admitted that when the Utah bears left, it was a confusing and upsetting day for Mahalo who will have to adjust and play with the other two Idaho cubs.

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.

Twister and four other bears set free in Idaho
After a long and bumpy ride, Twister stepped out of her crate, looked around and jumped off the back of the truck that had carried her and four other bears from Idaho Black Bear Rehab (IBBR) into the wilderness outside of Boise. Thanks to Maughan's expert care and rehabilitation techniques, Twister and four other Black Bears joined the more than 140 cubs that have been successfully raised and released back into the wild by IBBR. Only a few years ago, bears such as Twister would have faced life in captivity or euthanasia. From a larger enclosure to care for more bears to a new roof and the flatbed truck that transported Twister and other bears, WSPA has been there to support IBBR's work since 1998.

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.

Latest bear cub rescue: Two sloth bear cubs seized in Orissa
In addition to the confiscation of two 2-month-old cubs, the operation led to the arrest of the traders attempting to sell them into the illegal bear ‘dancing’ trade. The cubs would have been made to ‘dance’ on command by tugging on a rope passed through a piercing in their sensitive noses. Bear ‘dancing’ has been in steady decline across India and is believed to be close to eradication. The project deploys a holistic approach retraining members of the Kalandar community who have engaged in bear ‘dancing’ for reasons of tradition and extreme poverty, spreading awareness through campaigns, controlling trade, strengthening protection in sloth bear habitats, and gathering intelligence to help with confiscations and arrests.

Member society wades in after storms hit Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was in a state of emergency recently after heavy storms buffeted the island, resulting in flash floods and landslides. WSPA member society, Blue Paw Trust, recognized that a number of animals were also being affected by the severe weather conditions and sent a mobile veterinary unit into the Puttalam District, North of Colombo, to assist in animal rescue and rehabilitation. Blue Paw Trust exists to create a better world for animals, for example providing pregnancy diagnosis to cattle, treating sick cattle goats and pigs and giving veterinary advice to farmers, all of which are vital to Sri Lankan communities.

Find out the latest on welfare issues facing bears around the world
Victor Watkins, WSPA Wildlife Advisor, is heading to the Republic of Georgia to attend the 2010 International Bear Association (IBA) conference and will be reporting back on the big issues faced by the world’s bears in a dedicated blog. The IBA conference provides bear experts (organizations and academics) with a platform to share their knowledge of issues facing bears around the world, to encourage best practice and deliver solutions. Victor is extremely passionate about protecting bears from cruelty and suffering and has been a pivotal character in WSPA's work for bears around the world for nearly two decades.

Dramatic rescue saves cub from 'dancing'
In a dramatic rescue, a WSPA partner in India has freed a sloth bear cub from captivity as a “dancing” bear. In a daring undercover operation, our local partner the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) managed to secure the release of the 1-year-old cub in the state of Jharkand, following a tip-off from locals just days earlier. The employee then made the long road journey to the area where the cubs were being held and met with the informer to hatch a rescue plan. The team left the village to avoid endangering the informers and the cub was then given a medical checkup, before being released into the care of the forestry department.

Two cubs rescued as 100,000 Vietnamese reject bear bile
WSPA partner Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) recently celebrated two important milestones in its work to protect bears – first, the rescue of two bear cubs and, second, receiving its 100,000th pledge against bear bile use. Bear bile continues to be used in some Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) to treat conditions such as reducing fever, protecting the liver and improving eyesight – despite there being more than 65 herbal alternatives available. Since that time, WSPA has been working in partnership with ENV to help support its public engagement campaign to end the demand for bear bile and close down the bear farming industry for good.

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