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Bulgaria’s Last 3 Dancing Bears Freed

Written by PETA | June 18, 2007

Redadmin/Creative Commons

Some great news this weekend for Mima, Misho, and Svetla, the last of Bulgaria’s “dancing bears,” who were released to a mountain sanctuary on Friday after a lifetime of torture in the service of a horrific tradition. The process of forcing these animals to perform—a practice which sadly still continues in India and Pakistan—involves attaching a metal ring through their noses, which is pulled by a chain to create enough pain to induce them to walk on burning embers. According to the AP, the release of Mima, Misho, and Svetla to a sanctuary, thanks to the efforts of an activist group called the Four Paws Foundation, marks the end of a centuries-old tradition. Not only is this amazing news for the rescued animals, it’s also a great sign that people are finally starting to see just how cruel and barbaric it is to force animals to perform for our entertainment. Someone should probably tell Ringling Bros.

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  • jacqueline saint-john says:

    This is beyond disturbing….

  • Atanas says:

    I’m from Bulgaria too. i have seen dancing bears once it was sickening. I have read that the Roma people all around Europe used these bears not only to make a show but to make people believe they had special powers and were in control of black magic. So they were left alone. I have no idea why we couldn’t stop that earlier.

  • Stefan says:

    This is really great news. I am 42 yo Bulgarian living abroad and I remember this bears. Warning now!!! I do not point fingers and I do not defend any nation just try to explain the tradition And first I will say that the “dancing bears” show existed in Bulgaria only because it found enough cheering and cruel public among the Bulgarians themselves. Here is my theory maybe the connection to India and Pakistan explains why I remember only Roma people being the masters of the bears. As you know Roma were Indian nation before they arrived to Europe. So maybe this is really ancient tradition. This was business for the Roma the same like shining and polishing of metal pots or production of wooden instruments or traveling musicians. To the bears again I remember myself feeling lost in such cheering crowd and asking myself what is wrong with me am I the only one who looks the poor animal in the eyes and feel sick? But now it is over. Thankfully.

  • Pirina says:

    I really hope these are really THE LAST of the dancing bears….. I am bulgarian and I was schocked remembering these bears….. hope its over now…

  • helena says:

    anything happening for the bears used for bile production these bears up to 20 years in asia with a tube in their bile duct and lying with no movement in tiny cages.

  • Cody says:

    Two thumbs WAY up to Four paws foundation !! For stoping “Bear Dancing”in Bulgaria and if you ask me that’s not dancing that’s plain torture !

  • Kathleen W. says:

    This is great news!! I really hope the other countries that do this sick torture also stop this practice. Tradition does not justify torture!!!!

  • kris shulfer says:

    yeh!!! i am so excited for there new lives to begin away from the human torture!!Major thanks to the Four Paws Foundation!!! i hope they are running and playing freely and living much better lives!!!!

  • Fritz says:

    PETA is working to make sure the laws against capturing “Dancing Bears” are enforced in Pakistan and India you can help too by going to httpgetactive.peta.orgcampaigndancingbears

  • Veronica says:

    Thank you Four Paws Foundation! Just looking at that picture makes my nose hurt so I can’t imagine what these poor innocent bears have gone through! What the hell is wrong with people? Why is this considered entertainment for some people? I just don’t understand. If this is still going on in India and Pakistan I hope PETA is on the case! This has got to stop!

  • The Don says:

    I like so much to hear this great news and many many thanks to Four Paws Foundation! This cruel tradition has to be stopped in the whole world! The bears are just helpless and only moving under big pain caused by the ring in the nose which causes them also very ugly infections just horrible! So thumbs up for Bulgaria! I’m very happy about it!