Bear bios - Rene the "welcome bear"

Posted on 23/05/2019 by Daniela Valla

This small friendly bear was forced to fight dogs for over two years. Now her life has completely changed, thanks to your help.

For over 20 years your kind donations have enabled us to care for bears around the world. Our partners in Romania and Pakistan are keeping hundreds of abused bears safe in luscious sanctuaries.

Sweet Rene is a resident of Balkasar bear sanctuary in Pakistan, run by our partners Bioresource Research Centre (BRC). When she was surrendered to our staff, she had suffered over two years of torture, being forced to fight dogs as a form of "entertainment" and gambling.

Release negotiations

For many bear owners, these animals are their main source of income. When negotiating the release of a bear to the sanctuary, our partners BRC make sure to provide the owners with a cruelty-free livelihood, to ensure they never go back to bear baiting. In exchange for Rene's freedom from cruelty, BRC helped her owner set up a general store.

Image: Rene before being surrendered to the sanctuary

Arriving at her new forever home

When Rene reached Balkasar sanctuary, she had extensive injuries all over her body, including very deep wounds on her nose. During bear baiting events, spectators gamble and watch as bears are forced to fight dogs trained to viciously attack them. As soon as she arrived, our expert partner vets sedated her and treated her wounds. They also cut off her nose ring and neck rope - this is the last time Rene will see restraints for the rest of her life.

Image: Rene in the sanctuary

Tiny but mighty

Rene is the smallest adult bear to be released to the sanctuary so far - but that doesn't stop her from enjoying lots of social interactions with other bears. She particularly enjoys play-fighting in the sanctuary's pond. To keep strong and energetic, Rene loves to munch on sugarcane and quickly devouring her meals, her favourite being chicken. 

Image: Rene in the sanctuary, all healed up

The Welcome Bear

She is very curious and displays a friendly demeanour towards other bears. She's not shy and doesn't hesitate to mingle with other bears, even newcomers, earning her the title of "welcome bear". Her loving nature has helped so many traumatised bears feel at ease in their new forever home.

Image: Rene (sitting) with other bears in the main enclosure

How you can help the bears

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.

Adopt Rene today