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Nepal's Last Two Dancing Bears Freed In Overnight Raid

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Nepal's Last Two Dancing Bears Freed In Overnight Raid

The two last known Nepali-owned 'dancing bears' have been rescued by World Animal Protection and and Nepali police.

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.

With the help of local police, the bears were found in Iharbari, Nepal by tracking the owner's mobile phone. The bears were extremely distressed and showed signs of psychological trauma such as cowering, pacing and paw sucking.

Animals like Rangila and Sridevi are snatched from their mothers at an early age and forced to perform.

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Their owner had pierced their noses with a burning hot rod and placed a rope through the piercing so he could control them.

Credit: World Animal Protection

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Harsh training methods are used on dancing bears to make them submissive enough to perform to tourists.

Manoj Gautam of the Jane Goodall Institute of Nepal said: "We are thrilled that the last two dancing bears have been rescued from their lifetime of suffering.

"After a year of tracking them, using our own intelligence and in cooperation with local police, our hard effort and dedication has helped to bring an end to this illegal tradition."

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Credit: World Animal Protection

Neil D'Cruze, Wildlife Technical Expert for World Animal Protection said: "It's extremely distressing to see animals being stolen from the wild and the sad reality is there are more wild animals suffering across the world, purely for the entertainment of tourists.

"I am pleased that for these two sloth bears a happy ending is finally in sight."

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This is not the first time an entire country's use of bears for entertainment has been eradicated.

In the past 20 years the cruel practice has been ended it in Greece, Turkey and India, with bear baiting close to being fully stamped out in Pakistan.

Featured Image Credit: World Animal Protection

Topics: World News, Animals

Claire Reid
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