Bears safe after fire sweeps through Balkasar sanctuary
Balkasar, our partner sanctuary in Pakistan, is a safe haven for rescued bears such as Maya. Torn from her mother as a cub, Maya had a metal ring pierced through her sensitive muzzle and was trained to ‘dance’ over burning hot coals. Thanks to our supporters, Maya was surrendered by her owner in exchange for an alternative livelihood.
Unfortunately, at the end of March, fire tore through part of the sanctuary destroying the orchard, the solar panel system, and other facilities. Workers at the sanctuary fought bravely alongside the fire brigade to protect the bears. Thankfully, no bears were harmed.
Now, it is vital that we replace the equipment lost and buy new young trees to replant this orchard as it provides supplemental food and enrichment for the bears.
Dr Fakhar-i-Abbas, the CEO of Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) and the sanctuary, explained “the bears showed signs of fear and huddled together as far away as possible from the fire but luckily were not physically affected by the smoke or flames. We will be monitoring them closely over the coming days to ensure that there are no side-affects”. Although traumatic for the bears, this fire was nothing compared to the terror and pain of the baiting ring.
There are around 90 bears like Maya still held in captivity and used for bear dancing and bear baiting in Pakistan. They endure an unnatural life of isolation and are often sick and malnourished.
With the help of our supporters, we transfer captive bears to high welfare sanctuaries. Our supporters have also helped us end bear dancing across Turkey, Greece, India and Nepal – incredible achievements to protect vulnerable bears. But there are still a number of bears being kept in horrific conditions in Pakistan and Romania.
Please donate today to help rebuild the Balkasar sanctuary after the fire and help save bears and animals around the world in need.
(* Header image credit: Yasir Nisar)
$23 could provide essential de-worming for one bear – necessary for ongoing good health and wellbeing
$40 could help us work toward having a bear surrendered
$80 could help relocate a rescued bear to the Balkasar Sanctuary
Where your money goes
World Animal Protection has been protecting animals for over 50 years and we passionately believe that animals matter. With your support, we’ll go where animal suffering is most far-reaching and animal cruelty is most severe.
In 2015, 87% of funds raised went towards protecting animals in our four areas of work. We can ensure your vital donation is making the biggest impact for animals as possible and is helping achieve lasting change.
* These figures are in local currency and taken from the Australia 2015 audited accounts.
- Programs = 87%
- Fundraising = 12%
- Admin = 1%