Saturday 5 July 2008

Free the Dancing Bears

Nearly a month ago, I watched a documentary (I think, it was on Animal Planet) about rescuing the Dancing Bears of India. I was so upset to see the plight of these beautiful creatures that it has played on my mine ever since.

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.
Click on image to enlarge

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.

Other links to help Save the Dancing Bears -
Kartick Satyanarayan
Wildlife SOS


  1. Serena a great cause and you have a wonderfully tender heart!

    I'm so fascinated by bears and hate to hear of their mishandling in such a terrible way.

  2. OMG...who would have known...I have never heard of this. Glad you brought it to light. I am praying this will stop right now!!!

  3. Serena, this was a very hard post to read. I kept on flinching when I read the cruel treatments put upon those dancing bears. Thank you so much for enlightening us. The commenter above me is absolute right on about you: you have a wonderfully tender heart!


  4. Thank you for tell us. I feel sorry to these bears.
    Bye Serena.

  5. Oh my goddess.

    Things like this make my heart physically hurt.

  6. Thank you all for your kind sentiments in the dancing bears' plight.

  7. Oh Serena, will the abuse of animals never end? This is so sad. I will never forget the special I saw about how some people in China take cats and hang them alive so they don't wreak their fur (they use the fur for a variety of things that the sell to the US). The poor cats were in a cage all huddled together and one looked back as one was being hung I cry every time I think about it and when I saw that special, I couldn't stop crying. I just don't understand how people can be like this to the animals of this wonderful world. Thank you for always being there and being their voice.


  8. I cry so many times too, Becky. I can't fathom how some people can detach themselves from another living being's pain and suffering so easily. The fur trade is despicable and, unfortunately, too many people aren't aware that even the 'fake' fur they wear comes from that of a cat or dog. Very sad.