Bears in Zoos
Zoos are one of the most formal methods and somewhat
official way to captivate the bears, and provide better
living conditions due to the problems faced by them
in wild. Though, not all the zoos are able to provide
the free space, nutrition, vet-care, freedom from spectators,
and other facilities, but some government initiated
sanctuaries and reserved forest-areas are better options
for the welfare of the animals.
In zoos, the condition of bears is not much better
from a bear in circus or caught by and sold by a poacher.
However, due to regular visitors, and some funds available
from certain government agencies, they are able to provide
a certain kind of food.
Yes, the condition of bears in zoo is somewhat better
than the dancing bears, bears in farms and parks used
for bile and other activities, and bears used in bear
baiting. But still, zoos are no match to the original
and natural habitat of the big animals, who enjoy great
freedom and openness in the wild.
Problems for bears in zoos
- They are allowed to live in closed pits, which are
bigger than cages, but certainly fall utterly short
from the natural habitat that bears enjoy in the wild.
- There is no freedom provided to them, and their
privacy is also limited—sometimes, they are
accessible for crowd-feeding by children.
- The conditions of the enclosure are not hygienic
and they do not have the option to enjoy shade or
- They suffer mental agony due to the limited space
and often show signs of mental illness.
- They are never provided with the facilities to
show their species-specific behaviour, and are sometimes
disposed off if the number of inmates increases beyond
the limits of resources available with the zoo authorities.
- Sometimes, bears are supplied to researchers for
experimentation, and sometimes they are also supplied
to circus people.
Issues related to bears in zoos
Many organizations are working hard to align with the
local governments and wild life departments to ensure
that the treatment and the facilities provided to bears
in the zoos are at par to the recommendations and standards
of wild life. The interaction of spectators with the
bears, and feeding of the animals is also opposed in
lieu to the dangers involved for both the animals and
It is noticed sometimes that the bears are kept in
cages and very small enclosures, which are totally unhealthy
to them. Bears like open atmosphere, and enjoy both
sun and shade—proper shelter and arrangement of
shade is needed to be provided by the zoo authorities.
Regular vet-checkup and other facilities to regularise
their eating habits and to ensure proper health is also
a critical point to be addressed. Most of the time,
animals are sold when they are too old, which is very
bad in the real sense of the term.
WSPA and help us stamp out cruel practices like Bear
Since 1981, The World Society for the Protection of
Animals has fought to realise a dream where animal
welfare matters and animal cruelty ends. Having successfully
eradicated the practice of Bear Dancing in Greece
and Turkey, we are now hoping to bring an end to the
inhumane industry of Bear Bile Farming. None of this
would be possible without the generosity of our supporters.