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Save the Himalayan brown bear at Islamabad zoo

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 12, 2019 | Last Updated: 12 months ago
Posted: Jun 12, 2019 | Last Updated: 12 months ago
Save the Himalayan brown bear at Islamabad zoo

The Himalayan brown bear at Islamabad Zoo is nursing an open wound on his foot. The thousands of visitors for whom the zoo keeps Pakistani wildlife captive now demand action to save his life, the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society has said in an open letter to the zoo posted to its website and shared with SAMAA Digital. 

The open letter says:

The six-month-old bear cub that you probably bought from a wildlife smuggler is now eight years old, malnourished, suffering from mange and limping around his cemented enclosure with a gaping wound at least two weeks old. His sister, also wild-caught, has already died in your care.

The general public is wondering why you have an injured animal on display. Since you haven’t yet noticed the bear’s agony, we recommend the following treatment plan by a trained and experienced wildlife veterinarian. First, remove the bear immediately from public display.

Confine him to a squeeze cage for the treatment duration. Sedate using an appropriate and safe dose of anaesthesia. If he has maggots, inject Negasunt or any available appropriate medicine into his wound. Make sure the entire wound is filled.

After 5 to 10 minutes, inject more and more of this medicine till the time the last maggots stop appearing. Begin an antibiotic course. Use the human medicine Velosef as it is safe and reliable for bears. Begin multivitamins.

Spray choona (lime powder) around the squeeze cage to keep flies away. Keep the bear confined for several days till the time the wound closes and he recovers completely. Once the wound heals, begin treatment for mange. Soak him in Amitraz wash.

In addition, administer medicines for endo/ecto parasites twice a year. Ivomec is recommended and can be sourced by the zoo’s veterinary medicine supplier.

We hope that you are looking after his dietary needs, and keeping an eye on his protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals and vitamins intake. We plead with you to only feed him milk for a while to aid in his recovery.

We hope you include lentils, corn, bonemeal, beef, chicken, fruit and vegetables, sugarcane and several different kinds of grains. Stale leftover roti (bread) is not a suitable diet and the result of that is visible to visitors who wonder why the bear looks like a complete mess.

While you focus on his health, don’t forget to provide him enrichment such as opportunities to swim in a natural pond, to forage for some of his food, to have access to plants and trees, to have the privilege of walking on a natural substrate and not cement.

In an ideal world, the bear would not have been stolen from the wild in the name of conservation and put on display for the (convoluted?) education of Pakistani citizens. He would not be showing signs of zoochosis and ill-health that captivity induces.

In an ideal world, the bear would be enjoying his freedom in one of Pakistan’s national parks. In the “Naya Pakistan” of Imran Khan, with his focus on eco-tourism and climate crisis, the government would educate the public about the importance of saving our biodiversity and natural heritage.

But since animals held captive like this brown bear make you a lot of money, the sacks of cash trickling up to the highest in the chain, and you will not rehabilitate him back into the wild or release to the national bear sanctuary, may we also recommend the following:

With more than 60% of the zoo’s 25 acres dedicated to zoo visitors, we recommend giving the bear access to an enclosure at least half an acre large, and letting him live the rest of his life in peace, dignity and good health in a sanctuary like environment.



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  1. Avatar
      Rowan Chandler  June 13, 2019 4:00 am/ Reply

    Bears don’t belong in captivity. A nightmare. He belongs in a sanctuary.

  2. Avatar
      Susanna Perugini  June 13, 2019 2:39 pm/ Reply

    Let him free

  3. Avatar
      Vanna  June 20, 2019 4:00 am/ Reply

    Stop cruelty

  4. Avatar
      Anonymous  June 25, 2019 5:19 am/ Reply

    Please take care of his medical needs!

  5. Avatar
      DR Soma Herath  June 25, 2019 5:45 am/ Reply

    stop this cruel inhumane captivity of wild life

  6. Avatar
      Cindy Guarnieri  June 25, 2019 6:37 am/ Reply

    These magnificent majestic animals should never be living in captivity, in concrete enclosures or in small pits. This is not how any animal is supposed to live. And if a Zoo cannot provide proper care and healtht livjng conditions for its inhabitants, then they should not be having any animals. Animals need room to roam in large spacez with enough food to eat and adequate care from the people who are responsible to these animals.

  7. Avatar
      Sinead  June 25, 2019 6:46 am/ Reply

    Set the bear free or give it to that organisation who wrote to you.

  8. Avatar
      Juanita Puntasecca  June 25, 2019 6:47 am/ Reply

    Empathy for animals now! This is heartbreaking!

  9. Avatar
      Nancy  June 25, 2019 6:56 am/ Reply

    This is inhumane and despicable, how this captive bear is being treated. Give him the care he needs at once. Give him a larger area to roam. Confine the people visiting, not the animals. This is cruel.

  10. Avatar
      Amy Stinstrom  June 25, 2019 6:57 am/ Reply

    All animals deserve to live peaceful lives.
    This zoo has no conscience and only sees the money that this new bear will bring in to the zoo owners.
    This poor bear should be given good healthy food, receive appropriate medical care for all the issues that this brown needs to be in good health and needs an environment where this poor bear can be surrounded Vine trees and grass and water with a very consciously I daily life .
    If the Islamabad Zoo continues to not give this for their all the proper treatment and care and this bear should be taken away from the zoo because of animal cruelty .
    The world already sees how badly they’re treating this bear and it just demonstrates to the zoo visitors that it’s OK to capture animals in the wild and bring them to the zoo and put them in small living areas and suffer from injuries and basically starve to death .
    The Islamabad zoo then will be known in the world that it is the ZOO OF HORRORS!!!!
    Take care of this poor bear now!!!!

  11. Avatar
      Melissa Mari-Dale  June 25, 2019 7:00 am/ Reply

    Disgusting. Release him to a sanctuary!

  12. Avatar
      Diane Sanders  June 25, 2019 7:15 am/ Reply

    Shame on this zoo. To put this poor bear through these horrific conditions is a crime.

  13. Avatar
      Lydia Garcia  June 25, 2019 7:16 am/ Reply

    The best place for this bear is a sanctuary. NOT a zoo. Give him the proper treatment he deserves. Feed him properly. Save him while you still can.

  14. Avatar
      Antoinette Dusaid  June 25, 2019 7:28 am/ Reply

    I think the animals should go to sanctuaries and the zoo closed

  15. Avatar
      Nancy  June 25, 2019 7:43 am/ Reply

    It’s a backward cruel community that allows the torture of this beautiful animal

  16. Avatar
      Louise Mahr  June 25, 2019 7:53 am/ Reply

    Set them free!! These are God’s beautiful creatures and I”m sure that he is crying when he sees how rotten-to-the-core some human beings are. I’m glad I’m not in their shoes because I smell some rotten Karma coming their way

  17. Avatar
      C. Thompson  June 25, 2019 9:25 am/ Reply

    Please take the advice of this great letter, For the same of greed which is evil should never overtake what is right, just, and logical, which are heavenly sent.

  18. Avatar
      Maureen McCoy  June 25, 2019 9:28 am/ Reply

    I recommend giving the bear access to an enclosure at least half an acre large, and letting him live the rest of his life in peace, dignity and good health in a sanctuary like environment.

    Be leaders and do the right thing for this beautiful animal now! This inhumane treatment will not be forgiven by humanity and the Spiritual Energy that created all life on Earth.

  19. Avatar
      Anonymous  June 25, 2019 9:57 am/ Reply

    Imran Khan as a retired cricket player who travelled the world, you should know your capitals zoo is well below expected standards. Send the unwell best to a sanctuary where he will be properly cared for and train the zoos staff

  20. Avatar
      Anonymous  June 25, 2019 10:44 am/ Reply

    It’s a backward cruel community that allows the torture of this beautiful animal.FREEDOM FOR ALL ANIMALS ban the zoos,prison for animal abusers

  21. Avatar
      Wendy Karagöz  June 25, 2019 11:08 am/ Reply

    This is cruelty on the highest level .Animals belong in the wild.I knowGod sees this and will punish all the people who support this kind nof torture for their own profitable gain.Karma exists in many ways.
    Shut down the whole Zoo.
    Why people still visit Zoos anyway.It is not like the animals behave like they would do in the wild,and if you look in their eyes ,you see that their souls are broken.
    My heart cries everytime I see these poor lifebeings.

  22. Avatar
      Wendy Karagöz  June 25, 2019 11:19 am/ Reply

    This is cruelty on the highest level.iGod (Allah) sees everthing and everybody who supports exploiting animals
    .From the person who caugth the bear to the one who makes money from him.
    I know Karma will come your way in oneway or another. I hope in the worst way possible.Why people still visit Zoos anyway .If people wouldn’t go ,those awful humans couldn’t make money

  23. Avatar
      Anonymous  June 25, 2019 1:05 pm/ Reply

    It is criminal what you are doing to this poor bear. How can you live with yourself seeing this bear suffering. How would you like to live. Your life like that? I believe that is pure torture. You are bad people. Send the bear to a sanctuary while you still can!! Be a better person, please.

  24. Avatar
      Markus Bihler  June 25, 2019 4:32 pm/ Reply

    This is really terrible. Help the poor bear!

  25. Avatar
      Lesley  June 26, 2019 10:22 am/ Reply

    Free this Bear. They should not be used for our entertainment. This is money making at its worst. Disgraceful

  26. Avatar
      Caz Woodland  June 26, 2019 11:02 pm/ Reply

    You are a disgrace for allowing such a beautiful animal suffer in a prison where you’re denying him every right for a bear. Shame on you. Shame on the people paying for tickets to enter such a torturous facility. Release him and any other animals you have in your prison. No animal deserves this. No animal deserves to be used and abused for the purpose of money, entertainment, food, clothing. Step up and do what is right.!

  27. Avatar
      L bennett  August 4, 2019 12:26 am/ Reply

    Shame on you

  28. Avatar
      Elaine Evans  August 4, 2019 1:57 am/ Reply

    This is criminal and barbaric, give this poor animal the care and attention its needs and NOW PLEASE !!’

  29. Avatar
      June Alexander  August 4, 2019 2:14 am/ Reply

    Horrendous conditions for the bear you should all be ashamed of yourselves and country.

  30. Avatar
      Elaine Clough  August 4, 2019 3:09 pm/ Reply

    Please please feel compassion for your bear, let him go to a sanctuary and at least find some comfort before it’s too late and he does. No animal should have to live in a barren cage with no shade, water or any enrichment of any sort.

  31. Avatar
      j.smith  August 5, 2019 4:10 pm/ Reply

    I think this may be old and they are just looking for money from all us animal lovers bacause I can not believe any zoo or wild life place would let the go on this long

  32. Avatar
      Tammy Williams  August 6, 2019 12:00 am/ Reply


  33. Avatar
      Serwet  August 7, 2019 12:09 pm/ Reply

    What can be done to set him free and get him the treatment he needs? What about the other animals there?

  34. Avatar
      January Baker  August 7, 2019 4:56 pm/ Reply

    How would you feel if it was you or your family being treated like this?! Sending this beautiful animal to a sanctuary where he will get the proper treatment won’t hurt you!!! Always remember God does not like ugly and he sees all!

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