Bear bios - meet Leela
Sweet Leela was rescued from a life as a bait bear, now she can finally enjoy peace - all thanks to your support!
Our bear sanctuaries are areas of forest surrounded by tall fences for the rescued bears to live safely in. The enclosures have large fresh water pools and plenty of trees, so the bears can live a relaxed life free from suffering.
Thanks to your support, they can now enjoy a peaceful life, far away from the suffering they experienced.
Leela, whose name means “play”, was eight years old when she was surrendered to the Balkasar sanctuary in Pakistan, in 2011. She is a female Asiatic bear, so she's relatively small. She was being used as a bait bear, forced to fight with dogs. Her claws on her hind limbs were cut and her front teeth were removed when she was young.
Her former owner was a poor 60-year-old man living in the Layyah district, an area of Punjab. Our local partners were successful in negotiating the release of Leela in exchange for a general store so that his family could settle in one place with increased financial stability. He was also offered support for his children’s education if he remains with his new livelihood.
When Leela arrived at the sanctuary, she immediately felt comfortable in her new home, and put on some healthy weight - but the volunteers could tell that something wasn’t right with her eyesight. Despite this, she got along with all the other bears, and became best friends with two other bears named Bhoori and Reech.
As her eyesight continued to deteriorate, sadly Leela became aggressive towards other bears – except Reech, who she still has patience with. Even though she prefers to be on her own now, she’s still an active and playful bear and loves to roam around the forest area and dig holes. She prefers to be fed on her own now (although never chicken, which unlike other bears, she dislikes).
How you can help bears like Leela
Your kind donations help us give these gorgeous animals a forever home safe from abuse, with plenty of food, expert veterinary care, enrichment and a large luscious sanctuary to roam around and explore. With just £1 a week you can help our partner sanctuaries provide the bears with the best possible life.