Bears are one of the world’s favourite animals. Most of us will have had a cherished cuddly friend when we were little, and many of us will know about the plight of bears in tourism trades. If you have carried on being passionate about bears from your youth, you might be asking yourself: how to rescue a bear?
It is actually a lot easier than you might think.
First, you must choose the right bear
This will often be a bear that is kept in a circus or as a performing street artist, made to dance and perform for excited crowds (which, incidentally, is usually quite illegal). The bear could also be kept as a tourist attraction, housed in a tiny cage at roadside restaurants to attract ignorant passing clients or in a tiny zoo, without access to space, water or enough food. An example of bears that need rescuing is below:
Second, you need to get them out of there
This is obviously a task that will require supervision, usually in the form of qualified workers from an organisation such as the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
Third, you need to take them somewhere nice
There are several bear sanctuaries around the world. One of the largest is in Romania, where over 70 bears have been rescued and now live life in freedom in the mountains, far from where humans can hurt them again. Here they climb trees, splash in pools, feast on fruit and vegetables and meat to their hearts content… and many are even now learning to hibernate. Saved from tragic conditions, some have been blinded by humans or never been able to stretch their legs, here they have a real chance of a good life.
And how on earth to go about doing all this?
This stage is the easiest. You can do what I did… and become a volunteer with the bears. I volunteered in Romania for three months, but many people do it for as little as two weeks- and you can still do a lot in this time. In 2012 over 20 bears need rescuing, and volunteers are always needed.