WSPA’s work to end bear baiting has been so successful that a new bigger sanctuary is now urgently needed.
The first sanctuary for bears rescued from bear baiting, Kund Park in Pakistan’s Sindh province, is now full and can’t take any more bears.
Building work on the new sanctuary is already underway, with land purchased at an ideal site near to a town called Balkasar in Pakistan. Like Kund Park, the new sanctuary will have secure and spacious enclosures, a veterinary treatment area and pools and dens so that the bears can start to live naturally again. It will be a haven for bears that have previously lived a life full of cruelty. Importantly, the new sanctuary will be large enough to give a home to the 70 bears that we know are still being injured and traumatised by the blood sport of bear baiting.
Background to the project
Since 2001, WSPA have been working with member society the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) to bring a complete end to bear baiting. The combined approach involves working to monitor and stop fights, raise public awareness of the cruelty involved and create alternative livelihoods to make it a viable option for bear owners to hand over their bears to the care of BRC.
Speaking about the progress he has already made towards ending bear baiting, Dr Fakhar-i-Abbas, BRC’s Director says: “We’re the victims of our own success. When our monitoring work officially started in 2003, there were around 300 bears used for baiting. Now, by our recent estimates, there are around 70 left. If we continue with our work against the bear baiting culture, these are likely to be handed over to us in the next two or three years.”