Dancing bears is one of the most cherished sights by
children and adults alike in India and Pakistan. Though
dancing bears are a familiar sight in circuses also,
but dancing bears in streets and in fairs is also popular.
It has been estimated that bears in thousands, including
Asiatic Black bears and Sloth bears, are involved or
forced to dance for public entertainment.
Though the public enjoy dancing bears a lot, but few
realize the suffering and pain involved in the capture
of the bears from wild, and the inhuman training they
have to undergo in order to earn some morsel of food
from the so-called owners.
Process involved for dancing bears
The process of dancing bear, as appeared to the crowd
to be enchanting and fun-filled, is not the true depiction
of real one—the owners of the dancing bears often
poach the young cubs of bears while the mother is away,
and sometimes the mother is killed to take away the
children. It has also been noted that many of the stolen
bear cubs die due to neglect of food and proper care,
and also from dehydration even before they are sold
for training to somebody.
Almost all dancing bears are made to suffer a lot of
physical pain, as all of them have a hole pierced through
their lips, nose, or palate through which a rope or
a chain runs. It goes without saying that no anesthetic
is used to soften some of the pain involved in it. Moreover,
the teeth and claws are often removed to prevent any
injury to the person who is supposed to handle the dancing
bear during the show. Owners of dancing bears do not
make a healthy living, and it is obvious that they can’t
provide any facility to the bears—they are treated
in most inhuman way and are made into a mean of their
income without any feeling, whatsoever!
It sounds strange that bears like dancing in order
to shrug off suffering, pain, and stress, and sometimes
even tiredness! When the ropes and chains are tugged
into the fresh holes even before they are healed, constant
pain and infection trouble the bears, who learn the
dancing quickly in order to relieve their pain.
Health of dancing bears
As mentioned earlier, the owners of dancing bear hardly
earn their own food, and they are never in a position
to provide proper food to the bears, and thus, the health
of the bears decline disastrously.
Problems of cataracst and blindness are also found
in dancing bears, which is mainly caused due to the
malnutrition of the bears. Some stereotypic behaviour
involving repetitive pacing movements are also noticed,
which are a direct characteristic of mental damage on
Dancing bears even do not enjoy proper food; leave
apart the luxury that they have in their wild life—it
is like a prison to the person who had not committed
any crime, but being an animal!
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.