Bear baiting in Pakistan

Ending bear baiting

We worked to stop bears being cruelly exploited in bear baiting – an inhumane bloodsport where bears, unable to defend themselves, battle against trained dogs for entertainment.


Brutal ‘entertainment’

In rural Pakistan, large crowds gathered to watch bears battle groups of trained dogs.

The bears were captured and forced to endure immense pain even before they fight, with their canine teeth broken, muzzles painfully pierced with nose rings and claws often removed.

The bears suffered terrible injuries, rarely living past the age of eight. When one bear dies, the cycle started again, with more young wild bears forced into captivity and torment.

Two bears at BRC's Balkasar Sanctuary in Pakistan, which is part funded by World Animal Protection


Bear baiting: our work

Since 1997, we worked with the Pakistan Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) to end bear baiting. As a result, together we decreased the number of bear baiting events dramatically. Bears are now able to live better lives, and so are their owners. 

Our work included:

  • Preventing bear baiting events, by working with wildlife officials and local partners to share information
  • Strengthening legislation and making sure laws banning bear baiting are enforced
  • Seeking new legislation that will make it illegal to own a bear, or will at least ban the use of bears for baiting, dancing and begging
  • Reducing demand for bear baiting, by working with teachers, religious leaders and influential landlords to promote animal protection and raise awareness that bear baiting contravenes Islamic teachings
  • Offering alternative livelihoods for bear owners, so that they leave bear baiting behind for good  
  • Providing sanctuary for bears who are surrendered or rescued from bear baiting – though our ultimate goal is for bears to remain in the wild
  • Exposing cruelty, by monitoring, uncovering and tacking the exploitation of bears, including bear dancing and begging, which may be increasing as bear baiting declines.


Explore the Balkasar bear sanctuary

Take a bird’s-eye view of the Balkasar bear sanctuary in Pakistan funded by our amazing supporters.

Note: The first bears you see on the video are in quarantine until they are given a clear bill of health to move freely into the larger sanctuary areas.

What we do

Working around the world to end the needless suffering of animals by inspiring people to change animals’ lives for the better.

Mother bear and cubs at Libearty sanctuary

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Libearty bear sanctuary

Bear facts

Did you know there are eight species of bears including the Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, sun bear, and brown bear?

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