Bears are helpless against exploitation by mankind for entertainment and profit. Here are the worst crimes against bears today.
BEAR FARMINGMoon bears or sun bears are individually imprisoned in cramped cages and must endure painful bile extractions from their abdomen. The bile is sold for medicinal purposes despite the availability of alternatives. The cages are known as crush cages because they are intolerably tiny or have a metal rack that crushes the bear so it cannot move. The bears endure a lifetime of misery in these claustrophobic cages for up to 20 years. Often they do not have the simple ability to stand up, turn around, or stretch their limbs. Many are found completely immobilized.
Bile extraction methods vary. The most gruesome technique involves forcing the bear to permanently endure a catheter inserted into it’s abdomen. Either the bear is forced to wear a metal jacket that is locked around it or they are permanently pinned down in their crush cage. A plastic tube connected to the catheter collects the bear's bile. The catheters often lead to infection and cause extreme pain.
The bears suffer immensely and often die prematurely from mental and physical distress. Side effects include stunted growth, cage scars, limb degeneration, and hair loss. These bears exhibit neurotic behaviors including head banging, paw biting, and repetitive swaying. Teeth and claws are often removed to prevent them from defending themselves or removing extraction devices. Bear farms are still operated in China, Vietnam, and Korea.
BEAR BAITINGIn the name of entertainment a bear whose teeth have been removed or filed down is secured with a rope to a stake in the ground. Two or more trained fighting dogs are set loose to attack the defenseless bear. The more ferocious the fight, the greater the entertainment value. The bear’s nose, muzzle, and ears are often ripped open by the frenzied dogs causing it much misery.
They must endure many fights to raise money for their owners. They are never allowed to be killed by the dogs because they are a valuable income source. Defenseless and fearful from previous fights, they must be dragged by rope into the arena of spectators to perform. Bear baiting takes place in Pakistan and they are illegally poached to supply this barbaric practice.
Bear cubs are snatched from their mother, often after she is killed when she tries to defend her young. The cub’s teeth are often knocked out or sawed off to prevent resistance. A hole is burnt into their nose through the base of their muzzle without anesthesia. A coarse rope is inserted into the wound and forced out of a nostril. The nose is the most sensitive part of a bear. By yanking the bear by the nose in any direction, it is forced to comply to avoid the pain. The wound often becomes infected making it extra sensitive.
The rope is pulled up forcing the cub to stand on its hind legs. The bear's hind paws are repeatedly struck with a club or hot iron. Some training methods involve dragging the bear onto hot embers or a hot metal sheet. The cub reacts by hopping from one foot to the other to escape being scorched. Meanwhile a drum or dancing music is played. After repeated punishment the tormented bear will associate the drum or music with pain and “dance” on command in front of an audience. Dancing bears (usually sloth bears) still exist in India. To a lesser extent the practice continues in Siberia.
SOLUTIONSAll animals are at the mercy of humans. It is up to those who care to prevent their mistreatment. There are two things you can do:
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