Navigation Links
Europe's Last Dancing Bears Sheltered After Years of Abuse

They cuddled and kissed, cried and cursed: the Stanev gypsy family parted with their three brown bears, the last dancing bears in Bulgaria and the European Union, rescued this week from years of abuse .

"The devil take you... Why are you taking our bears, our kids?" a tearful Velichka Staneva, 58, cried outside her house in the northeastern village of Getsovo. Her son, Veselin, led out his 19-year-old male bear Misho and 17-year-old female Svetla by their chains.

At the sight of the crowd of strangers, the two nuzzled close to their master, gently biting and licking his hand while he petted them. "How would I live without my bears. We have been together all our lives.

We love each other, they respect me," Veselin fumbled around, while the animals were caged and prepared for the 500-kilometre (310-mile) journey to Europe's only dancing-bear shelter, near the village of Belitsa, in southwestern Bulgaria.

Back in the courtyard, Veselin's grand-nephew Dimitar affectionately hugged and kissed his eight-year-old bear Mima while veterinarians prepared to anaesthetise her, fearing the animal's reportedly mischievous character. "What was going on here was slavery," veterinary doctor Amir Khalil, who manages the Dancing Bears Park near Belitsa, told AFP.

He said the bears were captured as cubs and forced to 'dance' on hot metal plates while their gypsy masters played music on their rebecs. Once fully trained, they were led around town on a chain fixed to their nose-ring and made to jig about to the sound of music. The three furry performers earned the living of the four-generation Stankov family and its twenty members.

Their ancestors had also raised performing bears. "The bears' nails were cut regularly and cutting one nail off a bear hurts like cutting a whole human finger without anaesthesia," Khalil said. His Austrian-based organisation Vier Pfoten (Four Paws), together with French animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot, founded the Dancing Bears Park in 2000 and had already taken in 22 of Bulgaria's officially registered 25 dancing bears.

Misho, Svetla, and Mila were the last three to go and according to Vier Pfoten data, they were also the last of their abused kind in the whole European Union. "I have been waiting for this day for seven years," Khalil cheered.

Most dancing bears were chronically misfed, beaten and often inebriated with liquor by their gypsy owners. Two bears at the park have already died of incurable conditions and the others are slow to recover, park workers said. "We fed them from our table -- meat, bread -- they ate what we ate," Veselin said as he tried to squeeze a cup of water between the bars of Misho's cage. The animal lifted its muzzle towards him and groaned.

"Who is doing the abuse and torture now?" Veselin lashed out at Khalil's team. But the vets said bad nutrition was what actually caused Misho to lose almost all his fur. Once the bears arrive in Belitsa, they will be fed tomatoes, apples, pears, carrots and other fruit, as well as some bread.

They will also be encouraged to search for food hidden around the park which comprises 12 hectares (30 acres) of forests and mountains, 12 caves, seven artificial ponds and a number of dens. Misho, Svetla and Mima will probably also get their first winter sleep after a couple of years in the park. But they will never be able to live outside this artificial habitat as their natural instincts have long been suppressed by captivity.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Dire Future Predicted for Europes 4 Seas
2. One-sixth of Europes Mammals Face Extinction, Warns Conservation Experts
3. Britain is Now Europes Cocaine Capital
4. Ballroom Dancing A Good Aerobic Workout
5. Doctors Put on Their Dancing Shoes to De-stress
6. Dolls and Teddy Bears may Help Alzheimers Patients
7. Kerala Government Bears the Brunt for Infant Deaths
8. Cholesterol Drug Helps After Angioplasty
9. Bone Strength After Menopause
10. Indians Stay Away from Coke, Pepsi After Toxin Scare
11. Less Pain After Tonsillectomy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... A new analysis of ... the healthiest seniors are located in the Midwest. With the average cost of healthcare ... people are concerned with both the quality and affordability of where they live. An ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... copper, antimicrobial, mesh back 24/7 task chair specifically designed for clinical areas. Genie ... are thrilled to partner with Cupron® to provide customers with a game changing ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... After raising nearly ... Top gadget will continue to be available at a discounted crowdfunding price on ... stress wherever they are, I also wanted to bring a fidget toy to the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Silver Birch of Hammond, a new assisted lifestyle community, ... four acres of land at 5620 Sohl Avenue in Hammond, serves older adults who ... 125 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of the private apartments at Silver Birch features ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, a highly-skilled oral surgeon specializing ... blog post on insurance options. If a Bay Area patient has to search for ... and money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second opinion can ensure a patient ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A new tight-tolerance microextrusion ... other highly-engineered materials, is being launched by Natvar, ... been developed in recent years to service a ... surgical applications. More expensive materials such as glass ... tubing due to their ability to consistently hold ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 3, 2017 A Catheterization Laboratory is ... healthcare facility. Commonly referred to as cath lab, ... diagnostic imaging technology to give physicians visual access ... these spaces, a team of physicians perform life-saving ... coronary intervention, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... , May 3, 2017  Getinge, a leading ... to quality enhancement and cost efficiency within healthcare ... study of contemporary practice demonstrating that intra-aortic balloon ... for critically ill patients. The single-center, retrospective, observational ... large volume MEGA ® 50cc intra-aortic balloon ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: