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Circus Bears

Circus is one of the oldest methods of amusement and entertaining for human using a combination of human and animal performers. No wonder that almost everybody loves to watch the tricks and the feats performed by the animals coupled with the fun-filled jokes of the clowns, few venture to look beyond those performing animals’ actual life. In the wild, bears have access to a large territory, but circus can never provide them more than cages and some enclosures.

Though not all the circuses are that bad, but after all circus owners have their own limitations for space and resources, and they can never provide the natural habitat to the captivated animals. In circuses, bears are made to perform multiple tricks from motorbike riding, standing on the ball, posing with visitors, and the likes! Most of the time, the jaws and claws of the bears are removed, and it needs little description to tell what pain they have to undergo! Most of the time, they are chained and put in a cage, which is hardly bigger their own size, and thus, terribly limits the movement of their limbs, leave alone the movement to far-off lands that bears in wild like to go in search of their food!

Strange behaviour shown by circus bears

Almost all circus animals show a certain stereotypic behaviour, which clearly tells the story behind their growth in the circus atmosphere. Bears are no exception to this behaviour, as pacing, bar biting, self-mutilation, head rolling, rocking, licking, neck twisting, self-clutching and swaying from side to side, are very common signs seen among the circus bears.

The behaviour is basically developed due to the lack of everything that bears enjoy in the wild—space, freedom, and resources that are on their own disposal. The confinement and small enclosures make the worst for the bears, as their big size and roaming nature never settles in these cages, and they start showing aforementioned signs.

Problems faced by circus bears

It is clear that animals perform in the circus due to the fear of their masters. Scientists and researchers have found that the measurements of blood pressure and heart rate, and other body movements show that circus bears experience a continuous fear. Circus bears sometimes have their noses broken while being trained. Most of the times, the paws of the circus bears are burnt or removed! Chains and pins are often seen passing the lips, hands, and feet of the bears to make them learn the tricks and obey the master.

Proper sanitation, food, space, air, sunshine, and other apartment conditions are never available to circus bears and their health deteriorates over time. Though we enjoy the tricks played by them before us under the neon lights for small period of time; we rarely see the eyes that are telling the real story of suffering and pain that circus bears have to suffer for the remaining hours of the day!

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Since 1981, The World Society for the Protection of Animals has fought to realise a dream where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends. Having successfully eradicated the practice of Bear Dancing in Greece and Turkey, we are now hoping to bring an end to the inhumane industry of Bear Bile Farming. None of this would be possible without the generosity of our supporters.

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