main contents
global news
labyrinth map
Looking-Glass ... the art of compassion
A PHILANTHROPIC INTRODUCTION TO LOOKING-GLASSThe Lighthouse. An enlightening landmark, guiding passage to important issues around Looking-Glass Looking-Glass Homelands reception. Click on this house if you ever get lost.

Global Healing Gateways Animals

Looking-Glass Introduction
Global News
Good-Cause Support
Main Menus
Complete Sites Map

Tell a Friend

Pause for Thought
The Homelands
Looking-Glass from the Beginning


First Time Veggie?
Veggie FAQs
Nutrition Guide
Over at VeggieGlobal
Veggie Recipes



Looking-Glass is Free-To-View and Non-Profit

Looking-Glass in Depth
Complete Sites Map

Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal Good-Cause Support
Wildlife SOS India
Bear and Elephant


Wildlife SOS established India's first Bear Rescue sanctuary, the "Agra Bear Rescue Facility" in 2000.
To date they have rescued more than 520 bears and bear cubs from the bear dancers, poachers & traders.
Along with the bears, Wildlife SOS rescue over 3000 birds, reptiles and small mammals every year.

In 2006 Wildlife SOS launched their elephant welfare and conservation program. More on the elephants below ... but first the dancing bears:

What Are Dancing Bears?
Historically, the tradition of bear dancing was created by people called Qalanders who entertained in the royal palaces of India. Today, around 800 dancing bears are still performing on popular tourist trails across the country. Although this barbaric practice is now banned by the Wildlife Protection Act, various socio-economic and political factors have made the illegal "entertainment" hard to monitor.
Street entertainers buy Sloth Bear cubs from poachers and train them to dance and respond to commands. Beating with crude tools of pain, along with starvation, forces the bear to "behave".
From the beginning, the young bears are subjected to horrific acts of cruelty. An iron rod is driven through their muzzle (without anaesthesia), and a rope and harness are attached. Because the muzzle never heals, due to constant tugging, it often gets infested with maggots. The bears canine teeth are also knocked out with a metal rod. All of these bears will die prematurely, due to disease and malnutrition. Blindness usually accompanies their short and dismal lives.

But with your help ... this cruel practice could end soon.

How Does the Wildlife SOS Bear Rehabiliation Work?
The aspect of the Wildlife SOS' rescue principles is one one that Looking-Glass finds very appealing and practical.
The organisation intends to get all 800 bears rehabilitated, and put end this cruel entertainment for good.
It costs $2,000 USD (approx 1,418 GPB - 2,078 EUR) to rescue a sloth bear and to train its previous owner in a new vocation ... and that's the masterstroke!
By taking into consideration the loss of income for the bears "owner", this means that everyone ends up happy.
Qalandar Training Schools have been started up by Wildlife S.O.S; part of an innovative program that deals with the root of the problem and ultimately results in protection of the sloth bear in the wild. At the schools Qalanders are trained in new skills like carpet making, sari embroidery and tailoring. The retraining programme also integrates education for women children of the Qalander community.
Geeta Seshamani, Co-Founder of Wildlife S.O.S, is very enthusiastic about the program and says, “The training schools are creating vocational alternatives for these Bear Dancers who often resorted to these livelihoods because of desperation that resulted from both poverty and the lack of education.”
With such wise principles in practice there is no reason for dancing bears to suffer ever again ... once the last bear has been rescued and rehabilitated.
But obviously, what seems like a straightforward target can only be achieved by donations ... which is where you come in.
For example, in March 2006 with the help of donations, Wildlife SOS had rescued every last dancing bear from the area where the Taj Mahal is located. And, thanks to the enforcement activities and co-operation of the Indian government and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, that area should remain free of dancing bears forever. This is truly a landmark occasion, but there are still many more bears waiting to be rescued across India, so please offer your support.

Wasatch Bear, before being rescued by Wildlife SOS
This is Wasatch Bear, before being rescued by Wildlife SOS

The Wildlife SOS School in Rajasthan The Wildlife SOS School in Rajasthan, where Qalanders and their children are taught new vocational skills and educated

The blistered legs of a captive elephant
The blistered legs of a captive elephant. Made to walk many miles each day on the streets of India's huge polluted cities

Captive elephant tightly chained to a tree

Elephant Welfare Project.

Illegally caught captive Elephants in India are estimated to number more than 5000.
Deli is one of the most populated and polluted cities in the world, where 40 of these elephants are subjected to terrible living and "working" conditions. Exploited for entertainment, celebrations, tourism and even advertising, most of these obedient animals across India have to deal with walking several kilometres on hot tarmac each day, while being treated inhumanely by their owners. Cruel, painful disciplinary methods are used on the elephants such as pins through their toenails and anklet chains with spikes.

The Wildlife SOS Elephant Welfare Project aims to rehabilitate these elephants in a similar manner to their successful bear programme. They will also train the "mahouts" (elephant owners) to treat the elephants humanely and with compassion. Wildlife SOS will also monitor the trading of the elephants and microchip them, which will curb the frequency of illicit transfer between street entertainers.
As the Elephant Welfare Project develops Looking-Glass will provide more information.

LEFT: Captive elephant tightly chained to a tree.

How you can help Wildlife SOS.

Wildlife SOS believe that they could have the last bear off the streets of India within ten years if they can continue their rescue and rehabilitation programme, and it’s through your help that this mission can be achieved.

To help save the dancing bears and to support the range of issues that Wildlife SOS are so tirelessly coping with in India, please visit their website where you can read more about their remarkable work.

You can also go direct to their donation page and pay easily by Paypal


Anu Bear, now healthy after being rescued and treated at Wildlife SOS Rehabilitation Centre
Here's Anu Bear, now healthy (and waving at the camera!) after being rescued and treated at Wildlife SOS Rehabilitation Centre

Rescued bears at the Wildlife SOS Rehabilitation Centre.
The Rescue shelter is situated inside the 'Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary', Keetham, near Agra city.
It's designed to provide a near-natural environment for the rescued bears.



More Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal Good-Cause Support Pages

See the Good-Cause Support Main Menu

Find More Charities and Animal rescue organisations at our Directories Gateway
Read the news feature Pride, Poison and Prejudice around the Parthenon at Looking-Glass Global News
Read hundreds of articles about animal welfare at the Looking-Glass Global News Site


Looking-Glass ... the art of compassion
main contents
global news
labyrinth map

TO THE LOOKING-GLASS MAIN ENTRANCESubscribe l Terms - Conditions - Privacy l Links l Looking-Glass © all rights reserved