May 30, 2012
Earlier this year, Reech, Pari and Shabnam became the latest bears to be rescued from a life of bear baiting. Rescued by our local partner in Pakistan, the Bioresource Research Centre, they were taken to the WSPA-funded Balkasar Bear Sanctuary.
Until now, the three bears have been in quarantine at the sanctuary, recovering from their injuries, receiving expert care and regaining their strength before being released into the main enclosure to join the other sanctuary residents.
Reech is by far the largest bear ever to be rescued by the BRC but even a giant can be hesitant and cautious after a lifetime of fear, cruelty and pain.
Reech was tentative as he left the quarantine enclosure, carefully sniffing the air before ducking his huge head and climbing through the opening to explore his new, safe home.
Despite towering above his companions, Reech was clearly hesitant and his gigantic stature meant little during his first meeting with one bear, Leela, who firmly stood her ground (right).
Since their rescue Shabnam and Pari have become close companions, spending most of their time together in quarantine. Both of them have good appetites and while Shabnam is more aggressive, Pari is more confident.
Shabnam joined Reech on his release day and quickly headed for the safety and coverage of the long grasses and trees within the enclosure.
Pari however has recently injured her paw and the BRC team decided to keep her in quarantine to make sure she has her full strength before she joins the other bears.
Thanks to your support, bears in Pakistan are being protected from the cruel blood sport of bear baiting. Since WSPA's partnership with BRC began, we have reduced the number of bears being used in bear baiting to around 60.
The bear rescues are only a small part of the work that we are doing to end bear baiting in Pakistan. WSPA also funds vital awareness-raising and monitoring activities aimed at reducing the demand for bear baiting and making these events more difficult to organize.