Last week, I purchased a 6 months sponsorship from Free The Bears. Her name is Pinky and she is an Indian Sloth Bear. Mary Hutton, the founder of Free the Bears, helped to set up and fund the Agra Bear Rescue Facility in India.
After the slaughter of their mothers, young cubs are taken by poachers and sold to, the Kalandars, a nomadic tribe of India. In primitive conditions, and without anaesthetic, a red hot poker is used to pierce through the cub's very sensitive snout area and then jute rope, deliberately used because it is rough and painful, is pulled through and left there. The wound often becomes infected and never heals properly. The canine teeth are then knocked out with rocks or hammers and the bear's claws are also removed. The Kalandar tribe then force the bears to 'dance' by hitting them about the body with a stick and tourists pay money to watch them. The bears literally live a life of agony. This cruel practice was banned in India in 1972, however, it still continues illegally. Thankfully, welfare organisations are making a difference and have set up sanctuaries for rescued bears to live out their lives in peace and safety. They are also helping and educating the Kalandar people so they can find other means for earning a living.
How we can help -
1/ Tourists - Please DO NOT give them money! It is not entertainment but a terrible act of cruelty! Money is what motivates the Kalandar tribe to continue with this barbaric treatment of a threatened species.
2/ Donate money, purchase a gift from the welfare organisation, or sponsor a bear.
Please take a moment to visit the website and read more on the great work they are doing to help the bears.