Special care for disabled bears
Some bears at our Balkasar sanctuary in Pakistan have suffered so badly in their former lives as baited bears that they are too frail to live in the main enclosure. Thankfully, your support has helped us create a dedicated area where they can be closely monitored by the caring Balkasar team.
The disabled bear enclosure is currently home to four bears. Blind bears six-year-old Chowti and 10-year-old Pooh share with 11-year-old Maori who has a paralysed back leg and six- year-old Lala who has a hole in her muzzle.
“Because of their disabilities moving around the main areas of the sanctuary would be difficult for them. And there they have to compete with the other bears for space and food as well. This would be very stressful. But in this special environment they are quite confident and happy,” explains Madeeha Manzoor of the Bioresource Research Centre of Pakistan which manages the sanctuary.
The half-acre enclosure has shrubs and trees, small pools for bathing and playing, some climbing frames and shaded areas.
“It’s lovely to see the bears so happy in this enclosure. Sometimes they jump and play, but most of the time they seem to like snoozing in their favourite places. Moari and Lala love the shade; Chowti likes sitting by the pool and dipping her hand in the water. Pooh likes to sleep near the night den entrance,” says Madeeha.
She explains that they especially look forward to feeding time with roti – baked bread made every day in the sanctuary’s bakery – and fresh fruit as their firm favourites.
“They all seem very happy when they hear the food cart trundling towards the enclosure. And they know they will all get what they need. They don’t have to worry about the bigger, more able bears in the main enclosure taking it from them.
“It’s very sad to think that if we had not rescued them, they would still be expected to fight in the baiting ring by their owners despite their disabilities. Such suffering is unimaginable,” says Madeeha.
Thank you for everything you are doing to help us change the lives of bears like Moari, Lala, Chowti and Pooh. Learn more about the latest developments in our work to help end bear baiting in Pakistan.
At home: At first Chowti, who is blind, was timid in the new enclosure, but now she finds her way around confidently.
Safe space: Pooh and Chowti in the disabled enclosure.