Bears in Zoos
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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

  1. 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.


  2. There is no freedom provided to them, and their privacy is also limited—sometimes, they are accessible for crowd-feeding by children.
  3. The conditions of the enclosure are not hygienic and they do not have the option to enjoy shade or sunshine.
  4. They suffer mental agony due to the limited space and often show signs of mental illness.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 the spectators.

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.

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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.

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