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Bears saved from cruel sport in Pakistan

Bears saved from cruel contest In Pakistan a local network set up by WSPA and member society the Bioresource Research Center Pakistan (PBRC) has enabled PBRC to successfully prevent a bear baiting event and rescue two bears.

Bear baiting, a practice in which dogs are pitted against bears whose teeth and claws have been removed, is possibly the world's most savage blood sport. Yet despite the cruelty involved and the fact that it has been illegal in Pakistan for over 100 years, bear baiting continues to take place as landlords who host the events make large profits.

As part of our campaign to bring an end to this cruel sport, WSPA and PBRC have set up a network of support that includes former landlords, religious leaders and local law enforcement. In February, PBRC worked with Punjab wildlife officials to prevent a bear baiting event from taking place using a carefully planned and timed intervention.

Gaining local support
PBRC faced a second challenge when the influential landlords who had set up the lucrative event refused to let authorities confiscate the bears.

Not to be deterred, PBRC contacted a local figure, Saad Ahmad Niazi, who had been recruited through the landlord networking program. Once an organizer of bear baiting events, Saad now asks others to turn their back on this cruel sport.

As landlords own only the dogs used in baiting events, Saad appealed directly to the bear owners. He convinced them to surrender the bears and offered to help them find cruelty-free alternative livelihoods.

A brighter future
Thanks to WSPA, the PBRC, and our supporters around the world, these bears will no longer have to suffer ripped mouths and noses and other injuries associated with bear baiting events. Instead, they will be able be able to live natural lives and receive the care they need at WSPA's Kund Bear Park Sanctuary.

Photo credited to WSPA / Mark Rissi.

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