WSPA-funded research suggests over 400 bears in India are living out their days dragged from village to village "dancing" for audiences. Illegally poached as cubs, dancing bears endure a lifetime of physical and mental distress.
Towards a new life: ending bear dancing in India together
Despite reports that bear dancing has been completely eradicated from India, a lot of work still needs to be done before we can truly celebrate the end of this cruel practice; more bears remain in need of rescue.
Project makes new lives for people and bears
She lives in a small house on the outskirts of a village called Mogalakhor, and is no longer constantly on the move with her mother, father, siblings and Reech, the family’s dancing bear.
Chowti, an Asiatic black bear, was tied up and attacked by dogs who bit and mauled her while people watched for entertainment.
The life of a dancing bear
Many bear cubs die from neglect and dehydration before they can be sold to Kalandars, India’s traditional dancing bear owners.
Rescued or confiscated bears may be unable to adapt to a life in the wild. For these animals the best option is a forested sanctuary in which they can behave as naturally as possible.
Bear cub rehabilitation
But over a number of years, rehabilitation and release programs have proved themselves a viable alternative. Gathering and disseminating expert information for use by specialists, with the aim of creating a worldwide rehabilitation and release network.
More than 12,000 bears are suffering desperately cruel conditions in Asia’s bear farms. They are confined so bile can be extracted from their gall bladders and sold for use in some Traditional Asian Medicine.
Japanese bear parks
Japan’s bear parks were originally set up to care for orphaned wild black and brown bears. WSPA is working with member society JANET to increase pressure on Japan’s bear park owners to improve their welfare standards or face being shut down.
The bears are owned by Kalanders – traditional bear owners –who are paid by the landlords to bring the bears to fight.
As man demands access to ever more land, many bear populations find themselves living in close proximity to humans and human food sources.
A recent WSPA video investigation has revealed that one of the holiday's most popular symbols - the reindeer - is being subjected to immense suffering in large-scale round-ups and slaughter in Sweden and Finland.
Bear Farming Downloads and Resources
The report focuses in particular on what proportion of illegal trade in bear products globally is reported to originate from China and its bear farms.