From banning their inclusion in recreational hunting and circus shows, bears are off to a great start in the new year. While those in the wild are frolicking in undisturbed freedom, those kept illegally are still waiting for rescue. For two of Nepal’s last known dancing bears, the delay has come to an end with the help of the Jane Goodall Institute of Nepal.
“We know that Rangila and Sridevi were suffering in captivity since they [were] poached from the wild and their muzzles were pierced with hot iron rods,” [said] Neil D’Cruze of World Animal Protection.
Despite the 1973 ban, bear dancing has permeated throughout Nepal. Many handlers turned to violent training methods, even removing the bears’ teeth. While rescue doesn’t liberate an animal from psychological trauma, extensive rehabilitation usually gets the job done.
“They will need long-term, specialized care, but many bears rescued from bear dancing and baiting have been able to live out the rest of their lives peacefully in sanctuaries,” [D’Cruze] said.
Both middle-aged, it’s about time Rangila and Sridevi received a hard-earned break!
As the saying goes, an elephant never forgets. The relationship between one and a human is always give and take. While some are dedicating their lives to fighting for elephant rights, the animals are also doing their best to protect humans. Watching elephants rescue tourists from a jungle safari park in Nepal was an unexpected surprise — and a good one.
The Rapti River overflowed its banks in Sauraha, 80 km south of the capital, Kathmandu, inundating hotels and restaurants and leaving some 600 tourists stranded.
“Some 300 guests were rescued on elephant backs and tractor trailers to (nearby) Bharatpur yesterday and the rest will be taken to safer places today,”
Unfortunately, many others remain missing, as heavy rain affected 75 districts. Floods submerged over 60,000 homes.
“The heavy rains hit at one of the worst times, shortly after farmers planted their rice crop in the country’s most important agricultural region,”
Despite the tragedy, many lives were spared thanks to these gentle giants. To forgive and not forget is a notion that applies heavily to the humble elephant. They may be patient animals, but are still deserving of our respect.