Rescued dancing bear is finally free
The last dancing bear in Nepal who spent four grueling months at a substandard zoo in Nepal will finally be released and sent to a specialist sloth sanctuary in India.
Late last year, two sloth bears were dramatically rescued from a life of suffering as a dancing bear in Nepal by the Jane Goodall Institute of Nepal, World Animal Protection and Nepali police. The bears were placed in temporary accommodation at Parsa National Park, intended to go to the WSOS sanctuary in India but were instead secretly moved to a substandard zoo in Kathmandu that provided terrible conditions.
The rescued bears, Rangila and Sridevi were Nepal’s last dancing bears. Tragically, one of the bears, Sridevi died whilst in the care of the zoo, which has been previously criticized for its extremely poor conditions.
Today’s decision by Nepalese government council (cabinet ministers) comes after months of working behind the scenes to pressure the Nepalese government to provide vital information about Rangila’s welfare, and continue to work for his safe release to a specialist sloth bear sanctuary.
Dr Neil D’Cruze, Senior Wildlife Advisor at World Animal Protection says:
“This is amazing news. After months of tirelessly working behind the scenes, Rangila will finally be moved to the specialist sanctuary in India, who can properly care and rehabilitate him.
“The journey has been an emotional and grueling one. The loss of one of the rescued bears, Sredevi, was devastating for everyone involved in her rescue. The secret move to a zoo unable to properly care for the bears was a real blow. It is a huge relief that Rangila will now live the life he deserves, free from harm and with all of the proper care he needs.”
Manoj Gautam, Jane Goodall Institute of Nepal says:
“After such an exceptional but dramatic rescue, it’s heart breaking to see how the story took a twisted turn. It has been a painfully slow process to release Rangila but we couldn’t be happier to see positive results from the Nepalese government. We hope Rangila can now live the rest of his life in peace.”
There are many unanswered questions about why the bears were moved to a zoo without consultation with World Animal Protection or Jane Goodall Institute Nepal. However, we want the government to immediately expedite the process in order for Rangila to be safely transported to the WSOS sanctuary.
The suffering of bears in Asia is still not over, World Animal Protection continues its campaign to protect bears; across Asia we are working to stop the exploitation of bears used for the horrific blood sport of bear-baiting and in the cruel and unnecessary bear bile industry, where approximately 22,000 Asiatic black bears stuck in tiny cages, with permanent holes in their stomach and constantly milked for their bile. Their bile and gallbladders are dried, powdered, and sold as panacea to be used as ‘traditional medicine’.
Notes to editors:
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· Footage and images available here.
· Launched in 2015, our Wildlife Not Entertainers campaign is moving the wildlife tourism industry away from cruel forms of entertainment, such as elephant rides and shows, towards positive wildlife experiences where tourists can see wild animals in the wild or true sanctuaries.
· Our campaign gives a voice to the 550,000 wild animals that are currently in captivity and being abused for the sake of so-called tourist entertainment. Our success to date:
o We have mobilized over 800,000 people across the world to take action to end the cruelty inflicted on wild animals in entertainment.
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