The Balkasar bear sanctuary will be extended
Key to our work to save bears abused for entertainment has been our ability to help rescue bears and house them in sanctuaries where they can be given the best possible care for the rest of their lives.
In 2010, we helped our local partner the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) to establish the Balkasar Sanctuary in Pakistan located in the Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan. The sanctuary was established to provide a safe home for bears rescued from ‘bear baiting’ and ‘bear dancing’ with the aim of ending these cruel forms of entertainment.
With over 17 acres (6.8 hecatres), the sanctuary houses the endangered species of Asian black bears and Himalayan brown bears. There are two pools, natural climbing structures and denning places that allow the bears to perform all of their natural behaviours.
Take a bird’s-eye view of the Balkasar Sanctuary
Right now, 44 bears are living in peace at Balkasar. While we continue to to give them the best care possible, we're also planning to extend the sanctuary to help provide space for the remaining captive bears exploited for dancing and baiting in Pakistan.
Read more: Meet Madeeha, a zoologist at the Balkasar sanctuary
Here are some of the stories of recovery made possible by our supporters:
Maya – joined the sanctuary in 2016
Maya, meaning 'graciousness', is a female Asiatic black bear who in November 2016 was surrendered to the BRC. Following her rescue, Maya spent some time in quarantine, and in April 2017 was released into main enclosure.
Daisy – saved in 2013
Daisy whose name means “innocent” enjoys a roti flat bread lovingly prepared each day by the sanctuary cook. Bears can smell the breads cooking and gather each day to get their share.