New expansion opens at Balkasar bear sanctuary


Thanks to your support the bears can now explore the new, luscious enclosures.

By Daniela Valla, Social Media Officer at World Animal Protection UK

In July 2019 we supported our partners Bioresource Research Centre (BRC), in the building of three new enclosures at Balkasar Sanctuary. Now complete, brown bears Bhoori, Reech and Kainat have moved into their spacious new home.

‘Bhoori is very confident, so she was the first to step out. She slid down the ramp backwards - you could tell she was excited!’ said Madeeha Manzoor, BRC’s Finance Director. Surrendered by her owner in 2011, 18-year-old Bhoori‘s life is very different now from her traumatic previous life as a bear used in the cruel sport of baiting. Now free to act like a bear should, she loves bathing - so of course, the first thing she did was dive into the new pool for a refreshing dip.


Reech, a 23-year-old Himalayan brown bear, and the oldest bear in the sanctuary, was shyer than his best friend. Eventually, he climbed through the opening to explore the new area. Followed by Kainat, they made their way around the boundary, making sense of the space and marking the territory with their smell.


Image: Bhoori enters the new enclosure

Filled with rich thick green grass and new trees that will shelter them from the sun and provide interesting fruit and nuts at different times of the year, these new enclosures have been thoughtfully created and filled with everything that the bears need.

‘Bhoori and Reech are two of Balkasar’s longest residents. They have lived in the same enclosure for most of their time here, so moving somewhere new was a very exciting experience for them’ Madeeha told us.


Image: Bhoori explores the new climbing structures

A new enclosure means brand new sights, scents and sounds, and the three bears wasted no time in investigating them all. Reech and Kainat were especially keen to sniff all the new plants and playthings. Once they were comfortable in their new surroundings, they relaxed in the long green grass.

All this extra space means that the bears won’t have to compete for shaded areas or pools, giving them the room they need to behave more naturally without coming to blows. It will take them a little time to settle and decide where they like to hang out.


Image: a map of the sanctuary showing the new areas in orange

Update September 2022:

These bears urgently need your support

Currently, one third of Pakistan is under water putting human and animal life at risk.

Sadly, the immense flooding has caused intense damage, and between repairs and rising inflation the Balkasar bear sanctuary and the 74 bears that call it home are in desperate need for your support today.

Donate now