After living a life filled with suffering, bears that have been rescued are often unable to adapt to a life in the wild. For these bears, a sanctuary can provide a haven to live out the rest of their days. Here’s an update on the new life we’re providing for baited bears in Pakistan.
For more than 10 years, WSPA and its member society the Bioresource Research Centre, Pakistan (BRC), led by dedicated campaigner Dr Fakhar-i-Abbas, have worked tirelessly to put an end to bear baiting. In this cruel ‘sport’, vicious dogs are set upon a defenceless bear that has been tethered to a post. Spectators look on to see who is left standing: the bear or the dogs.
Our campaign has been so successful in stopping this cruel ‘entertainment’ and rescuing the bears that WSPA’s sanctuary in Pakistan’s Kund Park is now full.
“We’re the victims of our own success,” explains Fakhar. “When our monitoring work officially started in 2003 there were around 300 bears used for baiting. Now, by our recent estimates, there are only around 70 left.”
“This is wonderful – a great tribute to our work and the kindness of WSPA supporters, but at the moment we have no way of rescuing and caring for them all. Kund Park has recently run out of space. This is why a new sanctuary is urgently needed.”
A new place to call home
Thanks to WSPA supporters, plans for a new sanctuary are complete, an ideal site has been purchased in Balkasar and the first of three enclosures is almost complete. Like WSPA’s Kund Park sanctuary, the new sanctuary in Balkasar will have spacious enclosures, holding pens, a veterinary treatment area, pools and artificial dens in which the bears can start to live naturally – for the first time in their lives.
The other two enclosures will be built as funds become available and will provide Pakistan’s last baited bears with a place to live in comfort for the rest of their lives.