“Rangeela, one of the two rescued sloth bears, stands next to his owner, who grips a chain that runs through the bear’s muzzle. For years, Rangeela was forced to dance in front of crowds of people.” – National Geographic

Nepal (South Asia) is a country not shy to the ‘dancing bear’.

Bear performances are a cruel and outdated practice – the bears are trained, mistreated and taught to perform for spectators at a price, however, the last two captive bears known to Nepal have finally been rescued and they are on their way to a better life.

On a December morning, Jane Goodall, accompanied by police officers and with the help of nonprofit organisation World Animal Protection drove the last two bears away from their daily misery.

“These two bears are the last known Nepali-owned, illegal ‘dancing bears’. Rangila is a 19-year-old male and Sridevi is a 17-year-old female. They were sold to their owner to be used as dancing bears, and forced to entertain crowds of people. Bear dancing is a cruel and illegal practice.” World Animal Protection reports in its recent blog post.

“We know that Rangila and Sridevi were suffering in captivity since they [were] poached from the wild and their muzzles were pierced with hot iron rods,” Neil D’Cruze of World Animal Protection told National Geographic.

Although the bears will need a lot of TLC, we have every hope that they will recover and move on to live a happy and comfortable life in a sanctuary.

Would you consider making a donation to the wonderful organisation that saved these bears? Click here to give to World Animal Protection.

PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL D’CRUZE, WORLD ANIMAL PROTECTION

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