FOUR PAWS Rescues Two Abused Baiting Bears Who Were Forced To Fight With Dogs In Pakistan

Photos by: FOUR PAWS / Usman Ghani

Since their arrival in Islamabad on April 5th, a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts from global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS, together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), have successfully provided life-saving veterinary care for abused dancing and baiting bears.

On April 9th, the expert team rescued two baiting bears from terrible private keeping in Punjab. Both bears are in worrying physical shape and were in fights recently. They received veterinary care essential for their survival at IWMB’s rescue center.

Sadly, the Pakistani wildlife authorities estimate there are still 30-50 bears illegally kept in Punjab. FOUR PAWS continues its support of the Pakistani government in ending the cruel keeping of bears for entertainment like dancing or baiting.

The veterinary interventions performed by FOUR PAWS experts at the IWMB Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, included examinations and surgeries, vaccinations, and neutering for eight resident bears.

On April 8th, the responsible High Court, as well as the Senior Minister of Punjab granted permission to rescue and relocate two bears kept in Jauharabad, Punjab, three hours from Islamabad. The bears, seven-year-old male Boogie and four-year-old female Laila, were kept in concrete enclosures and endured a life of abuse for human entertainment.

In bear baiting, helpless bears kept on a chain are horrifically forced to fight dogs. They have rings in their sensitive noses to be led on chains and controlled, and their claws and teeth are often removed.

FOUR PAWS’ and IWMB’s teams traveled to Jauharabad immediately to collect the bears and bring them to the rescue center. The Pakistani government has asked FOUR PAWS to continue the successful cooperation to help bears in need.

“These bears clearly suffer from massive physical and mental trauma. We suspect their last fights were only a few days ago. Boogie had a huge abscess on his nose from the ring and must have been in incredible pain due to this and a badly healed and deformed jaw fracture. Laila only has five teeth left and Boogie’s were all removed, so they could not defend themselves in fights. We did a comprehensive veterinary check, treated injuries, removed the nose rings, and vaccinated them,” said FOUR PAWS veterinarian Dr. Amir Khalil, who leads the activities in Pakistan.

“Now they can recover from all their past suffering. We are grateful to the High Court, the Advisory of the Prime Minister, as well as the Senior Minister of Punjab who made the life-saving rescue of the two bears possible,” continued Khalil.

“We welcome the Pakistani government’s increased efforts to identify and confiscate bears that are exploited for gruesome entertainment. FOUR PAWS has agreed to support helping abused bears in Pakistan, as well as training local staff to ensure species-appropriate care for the bears brought to the rescue center moving forward. We provide expertise to improve the lives of the bears in a sustainable way. Together with our local stakeholders, FOUR PAWS aims to swiftly end this animal cruelty once and for all,” said Josef Pfabigan, CEO and President of FOUR PAWS.

Please help FOUR PAWS continue their incredible work saving animals by donating to them HERE! 

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