An Asian black bear who was forced to perform attacked a trainer in a room full of young children at an event in China. Video footage of the bear attack was posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo and on Instagram, where many commenters pointed out that animals are not ours to use for entertainment.
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This Bear Attack Was Preventable—Forcing Animals to Perform Puts Everyone at Risk
The bear in the video was reportedly overwhelmed by the number of people in the room, many of whom were children. The animal was also leashed and was seemingly trained to walk on two legs—both factors that scream of abusive training methods.
Throughout China, circuses, traveling shows, and roadside zoos force animals—including bears, monkeys, tigers, lions, and dogs—to perform for the public, much as similar exploiters do in the U.S. A PETA Asia investigator visited 10 circuses and animal training facilities in the city of Suzhou—which alone has more than 300 circuses—and documented animal abuse and suffering on a massive scale. The investigator recorded video footage of bear cubs chained or tethered to a wall and forced to remain upright, sometimes for hours, in order to train them to walk on their hind legs. If they couldn’t hold themselves up, they risked choking and hanging themselves.
Many viewers of the Weibo and Instagram posts condemned the abuse of the bear and called on others to reject animal performances.
The venue where the bear-biting incident occurred has reportedly resumed shows as usual, and the animal trainer was not seriously injured. However, attacks from animals forced to perform occur often and can be deadly for all involved.
Help End Bear Abuse: Never Support Animal Exploitation
In their natural habitat, bears spend up to two years by their mother’s side, learning how to forage for food, play, and explore, but bear cubs born into the exploitative cub-petting and entertainment industries are often torn away from their mothers at just 8 weeks old. These cubs are then forced to perform pointless tricks, like walking upright. It’s vital that you never support roadside zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, petting zoos, or other tourist traps.