The Balkasar bear sanctuary will be extended

20 February 2018

Key to our work to save bears abused for entertainment has been our ability to help rescue bears and house them in sanctuaries where they can be given the best possible care for the rest of their lives.

In 2010, we helped our local partner the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) to establish the Balkasar Sanctuary in Pakistan located in the Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan. The sanctuary was established to provide a safe home for bears rescued from ‘bear baiting’ and ‘bear dancing’ with the aim of ending these cruel forms of entertainment.

With over 17 acres (6.8 hectares), the sanctuary houses the endangered species of Asian black bears and Himalayan brown bears. There are two pools, natural climbing structures and denning places that allow the bears to perform all of their natural behaviours.

Take a bird’s-eye view of the Balkasar Sanctuary

Right now, 44 bears are living in peace at Balkasar. While we continue to to give them the best care possible, were also planning to extend the sanctuary to help provide space for the remaining captive bears exploited for dancing and baiting in Pakistan.

Read more: Meet Madeeha, a zoologist at the Balkasar sanctuary

Here are some of the stories of recovery made possible by our supporters:

Maya – joined the sanctuary in 2016

Maya, meaning 'graciousness', is a female Asiatic black bear who in November 2016 was surrendered to the BRC. Following her rescue, Maya spent some time in quarantine, and in April 2017 was released into main enclosure.

Maya the female Asiatic black bear in Balkasar sanctuary

Daisy – saved in 2013

Daisy whose name means “innocent” enjoys a roti flat bread lovingly prepared each day by the sanctuary cook.  Bears can smell the breads cooking and gather each day to get their share.

Daisy the bear eating a roti flat bread

Chowti – saved in 2010

Left blinded from her years of suffering and baiting events, Chowti now lives in a special enclosure for disabled bears. Thanks to you she’s a happy bear who enjoys splashing in the sanctuary pools.

The bear Chowti at the Balkasar Sanctuary

Your next read: Roti time for Balkasar bears

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