Bear Cub Saved From Cruel Life of Dancing in Rawalpindi [Images]

The Rawalpindi Wildlife Department rescued a dancing black bear from tehsil Gujar Khan, District Rawalpindi, on Thursday.

Assistant Director Wildlife Rawalpindi, Rizwana Aziz, told ProPakistani that she was informed by a local named Abdul Rafay about a man roaming in the streets of Gujar Khan with a bear cub that had ropes in its nose and neck, and appeared to be in a ‘very bad condition.’

 

The Gujar Khan wildlife staff immediately reached the locality and traced the whereabouts of the owner and apprehended him. The young female bear, called ‘Barfi’, was also confiscated and taken to safety.

The Rawalpindi Wildlife authorities presented the owner of the bear in court on Friday morning and he was fined Rs. 10,000 (a copy of the receipt is available with ProPakistani). The court also ordered for the black bear to be confiscated and sent to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB).

Last July, the IWMB had taken in a black bear cub called ‘Baloo’ after it was rescued by the Punjab Wildlife Department (PWD) from poachers who had abused it for ‘bear dancing’ in Gujranwala. Similarly, it had taken in an orphaned baby black bear, Dabboo, in June 2021 after it was rescued from illegal wildlife traders in Neelum Valley, Kashmir.

Bear dancing is a cruel spectacle in Asia, which involves gypsies stealing wild bear cubs and torture-training them to ‘dance’ on the streets as a form of begging.

The act is now a criminal offense in Rawalpindi.

IWMB Update on Barfi

An IWMB official informed ProPakistani that Barfi has been checked by a vet. Her nose ring has been removed and although she is a healthy two-year-old, her front teeth are broken.

“She will be vaccinated for rabies and kept in quarantine for two weeks, and then will be introduced to a two-and-a-half-month old male bear, Ladoo. Both are retired dancing bears,” the official said.

Rina S. Khan Satti, the Chairperson of the IWMB, tweeted a series of updates about Barfi today, detailing her condition after her rehabilitation began.

 

 

The Chairperson added, “Barfi is a gentle baby bear. She’s slowly adjusting to new life at IWMB’s wildlife rescue centre. We have now rescued 5 black bear cubs. In time we plan to introduce Barfi to Ladoo, another rescued black bear cub.”

Explaining how the IWMB is equipped to take care of rescued bears, Satti also tweeted, “IWMB is trying its best to give rescued black bears a good quality life with enrichment in their enclosures & good diet of rotis & fruits. We have trained keepers & part time vet. All our bears are healthy and happy. Here is new video of our famous Daboo & Baloo his best friend!”



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