Pooh’s journey to recovery from horrific trauma

Posted on 16 May 2019 by

Daniela Valla

in the Animals in the wild blog

Years being used as a bait bear left Pooh deeply traumatised – but he’s getting better every day in our partner sanctuary, all thanks to your support.

Forced to fight

The bears who arrive at Balkasar sanctuary in Pakistan have suffered horrendously before being surrendered by their owners. Most of them had been used as bait bears, forced to fight dogs as a form of entertainment and gambling for people. Owners will often mutilate the bears by removing their claws and teeth, so they are less able to defend themselves against the dogs - this is how they ensure the poor animals put on a show for the spectators who bet money on them.

Safe at last

Pooh was rescued from this grueling, painful life during a police raid in January 2015. Safe at last at Balkaaar bear sanctuary, vets from our partner Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) sadly discovered that the years of physical trauma had left Pooh completely blind. He was otherwise healthy and immediately showed his playful and friendly character. He really loves food – really, really loves it! He’s very fond of roti bread and apples, and gets very excited when he can hear the sound of the food cart trundling towards him at meal times.

A traumatic past

Pooh now lives a happy life in the safety of the sanctuary. Your donations help us provide him with the best veterinary care, plenty of food and a large area to roam dedicated to disabled bears and built for their special needs. But sadly, Pooh has experienced horrific trauma during his days as a bait bear, and this darkness sometimes still creeps into the light of the friendly, sociable bear he is today.

Not his usual self

Observant staff at the sanctuary noticed that Pooh wasn’t being his usual lively self, and he was spending a lot of time in the same spot, his entire body shaking, as opposed to exploring the enclosure or mixing with the other bears like he normally would. He was displaying unusually aggressive behaviour, even attacking another bear on one occasion. For his safety and that of other bears, staff temporarily moved him into a private enclosure.

Bringing him back to his usual self

Expert vets staffing the sanctuary knew that Pooh was dealing with psychological trauma caused by his previous life - and knew exactly what to do to get him back to his happy self… this would involve, of course, plenty of food!

The team created a delicious distraction for Pooh by stuffing dried meat inside bones and spreading them around the enclosure. The strong smell tempted Pooh out of his anxious state and soon he was roaming the enclosure to track down the source. The treatment seemed to work as he devoured the tasty treats left for him!

Caring for Pooh

We know that we can’t erase the past for these beautiful animals who were terribly abused – but we can provide them with the best life possible, with plenty of food, expert veterinary care, enrichment and a large luscious sanctuary to roam around and explore. Thanks to your kind donations, bears like Pooh finally have someone who cares and looks after them.

Adopt Pooh today

 

Learn more about Balkasar bear sanctuary

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