The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Tuesday received another baby black bear named ‘Baloo’ that has been rescued from poachers — who used the wild animal for ‘bear dancing’ in Gujranwala — by the Punjab Wildlife Department (PWD).
IWMB Chairperson Rina Saeed Khan, in a series of tweets, shared on her official Twitter handle, “After Daboo another baby black bear rescued and handed over to IWMB care, the “dancing bear” of Gujranwala. His name is Baloo and he’s a bit older than Daboo.”
She further said that earlier, the IWMB was handed over a baby black bear (Daboo) that was bought by an animal lover from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, however, PWD confiscated the wild animal as per the law, handing it over to the board for its better upbringing.
Rina thanked the PWD and animal activist Yasmeen Ali Zaidi for rescuing and handing over the bear to the board. She said that Baloo was recently sighted on Nowshera Road in Gujranwala. “We immediately contacted the Punjab Wildlife Department and they investigated and seized the baby black bear from a village near Gujranwala,” she added.
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She further said that the PWD was now investigating the poachers’ ring that was responsible for kidnapping Baloo and forcing him into “bear dancing”.
Rina urged the masses to join hands for putting an end to the cruel practice of bear dancing and bear-baiting. She stated that the nose ring and tight collar were removed from Baloo as a result of which he was visibly relaxed. “Slowly and gradually we will introduce him to Daboo who’s a bit smaller than him. Hope they will be able to play together soon,” she maintained. Bear dancing and baiting is cruel and has to end,” she added.
Rina also informed that the bear’s front teeth were broken and his claws were trimmed otherwise he appears to be in good health.
Captivity of not only black bears but partridges, green parrots, monkeys and wild animals of any kind or species is banned in Pakistan. However, in Pakistan, such violations are often reported.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2021.