Last Illegal Dancing Bears Were Safely Rescued
The act of keeping bears to dance for money dates back to the Middle Ages. In the late twentieth century, non-profit groups have managed to have the practice stopped in most of the world. One of the last counties to still be engaging in this barbaric act of animal exploitation, Nepal, has now come to an end.
With the help of foreign nonprofit organizations, Nepalese law enforcement was able to track down what they believe to be the last two 'dancing bears' in the country. The joint investigation lasted more than a year. Two sloth bears named Rangeela and Sridevi were rescued from their owners of the nomadic Nat ethnic group that traditionally make their living off of various street performances.
It is reported that the dancing bears of Nepal are often poached from the wild. The bears are wild sloth bears and are notoriously aggressive. They then usually have their muzzle's pierced, and a rope or metal ring is run through the hole to control the bears. The bears, once trained with this control mechanism and constant whipping, are then paraded to town centers to entertain people. They dance and pose for photos near popular entertainment areas and restaurants and are kept and fed in inhumane conditions.
When Nepalese authorities and the NGO's swooped in for the rescue, their first location was a bust. They raided an address, but the bear owners were not there. With the help of advanced technology, the authorities managed to triangulate the bear owners' position via their mobile phone signals.
The bears and their owners were located in a town called Iharbari in southeastern Nepal. The owners were taken to a nearby government facility, but no charges or fines were levied. The bears were sent to a national park while they wait for a permanent home at a bear sanctuary.
The bear owners were given a written warning, and the NGO's have begun training them on alternative money-making methods. Often owners of animals used for entertainment do not know any other means of making money, so they resort to what they do. The goal of the NGO's is to offer those who would typically be exploiting animals for profit alternative income generation means to steer them away from hurting animals.
The two bear owners were given temporary jobs tending to the bears while they are at the national park. Pakistan is the last remaining country that is known to have dancing bears. NGO's have already begun re-focusing their resources into ridding Pakistan of these crimes against animals.