Dancing Bears in India
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Dancing Bears in India

The dancing bears of India are nothing more than a cruel tradition which should be outlawed. The dancing bears “career” begins when they are mere cubs around the age of five weeks old, when they are cruelly snatched from before theirs mothers eyes and can do nothing but watch as the poachers slaughter their mother.

Following this they undertake the long journey to Kalander village of which the WSPA say around 60% to 70% of those cruelly taken on this long journey don’t survive. The reason for the long journey?, this is where they will be trained to be a “dancing bear”.

Should the unfortunate little creature survive the journey then the true nightmare begins. Without anaesthesia a hot needle is inserted through the sensitive muzzle of the helpless cub and a ring attached to the piercing. This will have a rope attached to it, the control rope. It is through tugs on this rope that the bear will learn how to dance. As if the poor animal hasn’t suffered enough torture, before it reaches the age of 1 year it will have its incisor and canine teeth cruelly yanked out to be sold as lucky charms.

Due to its lack of teeth the bear cannot eat a normal diet and as such eats soft foods, this then causes untold digestive and terminal intestinal disorders.

It is thought that in India around 1,200 bears go through this and it was a tradition from as far back as the 16th century when bears were used for the amusement of the ruling classes. Even though there is a law against capturing and trading bears it is mostly ignored and the Kalander`s earn a big income from the bear dancing. The bears work day is a long one, they are made to perform and dance along to music for around 12 hours a day.

It is thought of as great entertainment and those watching delight in throwing money at the dancing bear.
The sloth bear in its natural environment would live happily for around 30 years, sadly in captivity working long hard hours they rarely survive past 8 years. if you would like to help save this beautiful bear from becoming extinct then visit www.savethebears.co.uk and see how you can join the WSPA and WWF and stop this cruel tradition.


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