Run by our local partner the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC), the Alternative Livelihoods Program gives bear owners a new sustainable source of income in exchange for the freedom of their bear and is a crucial part of our work to bring an end to bear baiting in Pakistan.
Zilla, Rene and Sihu will now join the fourteen current residents of the WSPA funded Balkasar bear sanctuary and live out the remainder of their lives in the beautiful grassed enclosures.
Zilla's owner had used her intensively in bear baiting events for many years — she had injuries to her muzzle and was weak from a poor diet. The BRC team visited her owner many times in an effort to get him to hand over his bear in exchange for a new livelihood. Eventually he agreed to give her up in exchange for a general store, and signed an agreement promising to never take part in this terrible blood sport again.
On arrival at Balkasar, Zilla was sedated and her nose ring and neck rope were removed before the team treated the terrible wounds on her nose and muzzle. The BRC team is now pleased to report that despite a weak appetite, she has been moving comfortably and is bonding well with the other newly rescued bears.
Rene is a very small bear — the smallest adult bear to be taken to the Balkasar sanctuary so far — and had prominent wounds on the end of her nose from the fights she had been forced to take part in. Once she reached the sanctuary we sedated her, gave a full health check, and cut away her nose ring and neck rope, before gently cleaning her wounds.
The BRC team are pleased with her progress and tell us that she has a very healthy appetite, finishing her meals within minutes!
Sihu had been with her nomadic owner for around 2 years. After many meetings he was persuaded to give her up on religious and economic grounds.
The BRC team transferred the bear to the WSPA funded sanctuary. On arrival she was sedated, her nose ring and neck rope were removed, and she was given a full health check. The team tell us that she is in relatively good health with no disabilities. She is a very active bear and already her fur is appearing more glossy and healthy.
Please help our work to end the cruel practice of bear baiting. Support WSPA with a donation today.