You helped Maya break free!

10 March 2017

Maya the dancing bear has been surrendered to the care of the Balkasar Sanctuary. Because of you, Maya is now safe – and taking the first steps towards a new happy and peaceful life in our partner sanctuary.

Maya was stolen from the wild as a defenceless cub and, like most bears in the cruel entertainment industry, has suffered since her capture.

Her teeth were pulled out. A poker was shoved through her muzzle, and a metal ring was pulled through the open wound. She was forced to ‘dance’ for paying crowds for up to four times a week.

With your help, and together with our local partner the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC), Maya is on the path to a new life of freedom. On behalf of Maya and the six other bears surrendered last year, thank you for your kind donations.

Your support makes such a difference for animals like Maya, suffering across the world. We simply couldn’t move the world to protect animals without you.

Road to recovery

Maya is now beginning to recover in the quarantine area of the sanctuary. When she’s up to full strength and has become familiar with her surroundings, she’ll be released into the main enclosure to join the other bears. 

Once Maya is released from quarantine she will join other bears like Rene in the peaceful surrounds of the Balkasar Sanctuary

We'll be sure to keep you updated as that happens. Until then, staff will keep a careful eye on their newest resident, to make sure the transition is as easy as possible for her.

Alternative livelihoods

In Pakistan, bears have been abused in the name of tradition and entertainment for hundreds of years.

We helped Maya’s owner create a secure alternative livelihood – he now supports his family with a general store. Providing an alternative income to animal cruelty has been a vital element of our work to end bear baiting and dancing in Pakistan and other countries. 

Other bears you’ve helped

In 2016, six other bear owners benefited from our alternative livelihood programme, and surrendered their bears to the Balkasar Sanctuary. That is six other bears you’ve helped escape a lifetime of suffering. In addition, 22 landlords have pledged to stop hosting bear baiting events.

Main image credit: Yasir Nissa

Your support makes such a difference for animals like Maya, suffering across the world. We simply couldn’t move the world to protect animals without you.