Monday, October 10, 2016

For the Love of Bears

It's Monday again, and I'm breaking away from homework (and the morning rush to work) to share about something that not a lot of people know about: Europe's "saddest bears."  I didn't learn about them till just last week, but since learning about them, I've felt devastated.  In Albania, there are 50 bears living in small cages (like in the photo by Hazir Reka shown above) by entertainment sites--restaurant, fairs, etc.--and they're shackled and exploited.  These bears are deprived of nature and friendship and any opportunities for happiness, and they make up part of the global population of bears that are horribly mistreated. My brother is reading Search for the Golden Moon Bear by Sy Montgomery right now, and what he's learned about the "bear bile industry" is frightening.  Bears in Vietnam are kept on farms where their bile is extracted so it can be sold, and many of them have even had their paws cut off.  It's difficult to go into more detail without breaking down and crying.

A former bile bear. Photo by Bogdan Baraghin. 

If you're moved by the bears, too, please sign this petition from the Four Paws animal protection organization. It urges the Albanian government to enforce protections on wildlife and put more restrictions on bear captivity. Albania recently announced it will begin building a bear sanctuary next year, and this petition aims to convince the Albanian government to do even more for bears. 

<3 Frances

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