Chippy In Nepal
here and here. Both letters are in MS Word format for easy editing and personalization.
Arcturos Bear Sanctuary, Mount Nympeon Greece
Thirteen bears have found a home in the five-acre sanctuary in Greece, including an American black bear from a circus and three refugees from the Belgrade zoo brought in after the Yugoslavia wars. The other bears are the infamous "dancing bears" abandoned or confiscated from gypsies when the practice was banned in 1969.
Treatment of Bears (Warning - This is very sad to read ....)
by Lorraine Murray - March 6th, 2008
The bears are poached from the wild as cubs, an act that often necessitates killing the mother first. Some cubs, traumatized, die of shock. Others succumb to neglect or dehydration. Survivors are sold to trainers, who use sticks and physical threats to teach the orphaned cubs to stand, move on their hind legs, and perform other tricks. The cubs’ teeth are often knocked out or broken for the safety of humans; their nails are clipped short or removed (both of which are painful to bears); and a hot poker or piece of metal is run through the snout or lip to make a permanent hole through which a rope is anchored to control the bear. All of this is done without anesthesia. The trainers make the bears move by pulling on the rope, which causes great pain, and beating the bears if they do not obey. The owners, being poor themselves, cannot feed the bears a nutritionally sound diet even if they want to, and many bears lose their fur or suffer from cataracts and go blind.
The behavior that audiences are encouraged to interpret as “dancing” is the product of aversive training. The Roma training method involved greasing the bears’ paws and having them stand on hot plates while music (often tambourines) played; the bears hopped on the plates to avoid the burning pain, which became associated in their minds with the sound of the music. Traumatized by the experience, they would instinctively "dance" whenever the familiar tune was heard.
Even if saved from this fate, however, they could never survive back in the wild. With their teeth broken to stop them biting their owners they were psychologically scarred by their experience in captivity. READ MORE
BEARS ARE STILL DANCING ...
From Britanica.com by Lorraine Murray: "Like so many other kinds of animal performance, making bears “dance” has a long history stretching back to ancient times. Today the practice takes place mostly in countries of the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Almost invariably the bears are exploited by very poor people who have few economic options, so initiatives to save the dancing bears must encompass programs to improve the prospects of their human owners."
AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM
Until recently, bears were also used in Europe for this purpose. Bulgaria was the last country in Europe to use dancing bears. As in India, the occupation was a tradition of nomadic tribes, in this case the Roma (Gypsies). The last three dancing bears in Bulgaria were surrendered to a sanctuary in June 2007. However, in spite of the European law against the trade, several incidents were reported in Spain in 2007.
Young bear rescued from poachers
The human's view of animals as property must end. The human view that animals do not have rights must change. Animals do not exist to entertain humans. Animals are living creatures who deserve so much more than what the powers that be around the globe are giving them. It's Jasper's hope that the next time a bear ever dances it will be in joy over the fact that humans have done the right thing and are making laws that truly protect them.
The International Animal Rescue Organization
From their website: The aim of International Animal Rescue is to come to the aid of suffering animals around the world. Wherever possible we return rescued animals to their natural environment, but we also provide permanent sanctuary for animals that can no longer survive in the wild.
Both bear photos are from International Animal Rescue. Please learn about their organization. They have more information on rescuing Dancing Bears and trafficked animals. I'm so glad there are good, caring people out there working on behalf of abused animals.
WHY TELL YOU ABOUT DANCING BEARS?
Jasper brings this story of dancing bears to his blog as an example of a long history of animal abuse that became an accepted way of thinking among many humans. Things are slowly changing, but much work has yet to be done.
Jasper is corresponding with a politician in Colorado through his human liaison, Betsy Seeton, and learning that animals are considered property and that's why proposed anti-puppy mill legislation was killed in committee in Colorado two years ago. The agricultural community and the unscrupulous dog breeders -- certainly not all -- don't want laws that restrict their ability to make money. I know there are good dog breeders out there doing the right thing. Kudos to all of you! But to the humans who aren't, something has to stop you from hurting animals. Treating animals with the kind of care and compassion they deserve as living creatures versus property would cut into your profits.
The Colorado State Representative, Beth McCann, explained in an email and over the phone that there is huge opposition in Colorado to new anti-puppy mill laws. If better laws aren't the answer, I'm open for suggestions.
Dogs are currently allowed to be entirely raised in cages so long as they have proper food/water and a very short recess from the cage during the day. How is this okay? What will it take to change this? If not laws, what??
Jasper's point is that attitudes about animals around the world need to change. While dancing bears have largely been outlawed, it still goes on in some cultures. And, of course, there are circuses. Documented evidence shows abuse of circus animals goes on every day. Things must change!
CLICK TO GO TO ATAC WEBSITE PICTURED BELOW:
FROM ATAC FOR TEENAGERS WANTING TO HELP:
P.O Box 708
" We are the first Australian youth group for animals run completely by youth! We are not affiliated with any big organisations as we wanted to run this our way and promote what we thought was important, not just concentrating on a few campaigns but bringing to light as many issues as what we feel is necessary to raise awareness, including issues that are particularly close to our heart or we have special interest in.
Jasper smiled when he saw this and wanted to share it with his readers just because it's heart warming.
I just wanted to send the world a little inspiration! Thanks Madeleine (who just got back from living in Antarctica for six months) for sending my way ... !
Photographer Unknown at this time. Collage of images compiled and named by B.Seeton
Jasper was reading about endangered species while munching on some dandelion greens this morning.
Tasmanian Wolf/Tiger Trophy
"Hey, Mom!" Jasper called out to Chippy. "Mom, you have to hear this!“ Jasper then read aloud from the World Wildlife Fund's website: "Australia is known around the world for its unique wildlife and beautiful rugged landscapes. But what many people don't know is that Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world.”
Chippy nodded and softly replied, "I know son." She then added, "A Chippy explained, "The National Threatened Species Day is held on September 7th in Australia each year as a way to raise awareness about animals and plants in danger of extinction. September 7th was chosen to commemorate the day Benjamin died in 1936. Benjamin was the very last known Tasmanian Tiger and spent his life in captivity at the Hobart Zoo."
Jasper shuddered at the thought of having to live caged up in a zoo for humans to come by and point and look at him.
Chippy then quoted from a WWF article, "On September 7th events are organized across Australia encouraging the community to help conserve Australia's unique native plants and animals and draw attention to the great conservation work being done across Queensland."
Chippy handed her son a book and said, "This gives some more information about the Tasmaninan Tiger. Maybe you can tell your readers about them."
Jasper loved books about animals. "Thanks mom." Chippy scampered off but not before flashing that smile -- the kind that only a mother smiles for her child. Japser curled up with the book. Here's what he discovered....
The Tasmanian Tiger, also known as the Tasmanian Wolf, was native to both Australia and New Guinea. It became extinct from mainland Australia and New Guinea about 2000 years ago and was only found in Tasmania when European explorers discovered it in the 1600s.
According to an article from the Discovery Channel, a DNA analysis determined that, despite the fact that a Tasmanian Tiger resembled a cross between a dog and a tiger, it was a marsupial closely related to striped insect-eaters called numbats, and more distantly to kangaroos and koalas.
These beautiful and fascinating creatures were sadly regarded as a pest by early settlers after killing a number of livestock including sheep and chickens. A bounty of $1 per dead “Tassie Tiger” and 10 shillings for pups was offered by Van Diemen’s Land Company and later The Tasmanian Government. By the early 1900’s the Tasmanian Tiger had been hunted into extinction. "What were humans thinking?" Jasper wondered. "Why would they kill off an entire species and not even care??!!"
A befuddled and sad Japser then read more about the National Threatened Species Day and how the WWF designated a flagship species. He'd never heard about that before. He learned that a flagship species is a species selected to act as an ambassador, icon or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign or environmental cause. Jasper was excited about that. "I'm kind of a flagship specie!" he thought to himself.
By focusing on, and achieving conservation of that species, the status of many other species which share its habitat - or are vulnerable to the same threats - may also be improved.
Click to see which species have been chossen as flagship species by the World Wildlife Fund.
Chippy came to check on her son the next day and told him that she'd read where some people believe the Tasmanian Tiger still survives. People have reported sightings of the animal for years. Nothing has been definitively proven yet, but she let Jasper know there's a possibility that the animal might not be extinct.
"Ask not what an animal can do for you; ask what you can do for an animal." Jasper
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." ~Alice Walker
The source of the quote is Walker's preface to Marjorie Spiegel's 1988 book, "The Dreaded Comparison" . Her next sentence was, "This is the gist of Ms. Spiegel's cogent, humane and astute argument, and it is sound."