The Asiatic black bear went through a lot but now he's in the safe hands of people who really care for him.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 26, 2020. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: Disturbing accounts of animal abuse
Animals, like humans, are a creation of God. They maintain the balance of the earth and keep the cycle of life moving forwards, and those who understand the importance of that will go to great lengths to protect animals.
But there are some humans who take these speechless creatures as a tool to wear off their anger and frustration, not understanding that these animals can feel too. This is the story of an 8-year-old bear, Hope, who survived the darkest days and is now living the life that he deserves. Even though we come across animal cruelty quite often nowadays, little Hope's experiences will make chills go down your spine.
Hope, an Asiatic black bear was captured by the poachers as a cub and most of his early life was spent trapped in a tiny cage of a private zoo. The poor animal didn't even have enough space to lie down, reported The Mirror. The zoo owner hacked off one of his front legs for being too restless. If experts are to be believed, he was also attacked with hammers which left his hind legs permanently paralyzed.
When the little being was rescued, he was barely breathing. But now at the age of 8, Hope can only use one limb but has real "hopes." He is being finally treated the way he should have been all these years.
"We believe that Hope's leg was dangling out of the cage and the owner saw it as an opportunity to try and tame him and improve his behavior, so he cut it off," said Philippa Swindall, of UK-based charity World Animal Protection, an organization which supports Hope's new sanctuary.
She continued, "On another occasion, we believe he was beaten with a hammer, which caused him to lose the use of his hind legs. When he arrived at the sanctuary they took a look at him, and that's what they believe caused his injuries."
"It's one of the most extreme examples you could have. All bears in the entertainment industry go through the horrendously cruel process of being trained, but this is one of the most cruel cases," she concluded.
Even though many thought that Hope's injuries were too grave and it would be impossible for him to survive, the Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) refused to give up and in 2017 the bear was rescued from his nightmare in an operation led by the BRC. He was then taken to Balkasar Bear Sanctuary in northwestern Pakistan where he's now living well like a "happy, full of life bear".
When Hope arrived at the sanctuary, he could only move his head and front leg. He could also support his body weight but just for a few seconds since putting a lot of pressure on his body and organs made him short of breath.
BRC director Dr. Fakhar-i-Abbas took taking care of Hope as a challenge and created a program that helped Hope recover. "Since Hope is unable to use the pools in our existing enclosure we are planning to customize some of the area for him," said Madeeha Manzoor, BRC’s finance director.
"For that we need some time - at the moment we are designing while observing him carefully. But unsurprisingly it took a considerable time for Hope to get used to his new surroundings," she added.
“We sat with him for a long time to help him get acquainted with us. Over time, he gradually allowed us to help him. Now he is a happy, full-of-life bear," she further added. The program worked and now the little black bear can support himself on one leg and move around his enclosure too!
It's not right to expect anyone to trust someone they've been betrayed by and Hope felt the same about humans. He was aggressive in the beginning but he's a lot friendlier now.
According to World Animal Protection, Hope is not the only one who is suffering. There are many who take these animals' help to earn a living. They are used as a means of entertainment. But the organization along with the help of a charity is trying to change the system.
Describing one such incident, Philippa revealed that a man let go of his bear in exchange for a vehicle so that he could earn his living through deliveries. She said, "The majority of bears are surrendered via alternative employment." They are then moved to Balkasar but none of them can be sent back to live in the wild.
Explaining the reason, she said, "They may have had their claws or teeth removed so they can't defend themselves, and even if they're healthy, they're too used to being around people."
"The majority are poached from the wild. Their first memories are of their parents being killed, and they're sold before going through the traumatic process of being trained. Their teeth and claws are removed so they can't hurt their owners," she added.
Well, we wish that the sanctuary is successful in the good work that it's doing but for now, we're thankful for the care and love that they're providing Hope.