A Bear Story

Illegal trade in wildlife has not been given high priority by countries in South Asia. Governments need to join forces to strengthen wildlife conservation.

By Labbaba Jahangir | June 2020

Animal rights and animal welfare are movements that are continuously developing, especially in the 21st century, with many celebrities and respected scholars joining and supporting them worldwide. This has added to their credibility and more countries are taking steps to pass laws that protect the rights of animals. The situation regarding adverse living conditions of animals are even worse in the third world countries. With the lack of resources and awareness, we often see animals being tortured and ill-treated in the name of entertainment.

As the awareness of animal rights is increasing in South Asia, we now have various animal rights and welfare NGOs operating in the region. They are working specifically to free animals like bears, monkeys, etc. from captivity as they are being used for entertainment purposes in circuses or are being used by individuals. Even though there are many organizations working day and night to improve the living conditions of animals, there are still various rules and regulations that hinder the process.

In October 2019, a sloth bear from Siraha, Nepal was rescued by an Indian animal welfare charity. Little Dhutharu, the one-year-old male sloth bear was rescued after news about the life of a bear tamer in Siraha, who made a living by making the little bear dance for an audience as he wandered around the southeastern district each day, was published. When Sneha Shrestha, who runs an animal welfare charity, saw the news all she could think about was the suffering of the poor animal. The very next day her team arrived in Nepal and rescued the bear.

Sloth bears are found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. According to the Convention, on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat, sloth bears are listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Their trade is banned and they are among endangered species. Despite that, due to the lack of education and awareness, sloth bears are still being used by bear tamers to earn living. They are kept in captivity and live in very bad conditions.

Read More

The writer has an abiding interest in international relations. She has a Masters degree in the subject from the National Defence University, Islamabad and can be reached at labbaba1808@gmail.com

Cover Story
Social Roundup
News Buzz

Leave a Reply