Himalayan brown bears Bubloo and Suzie last to leave Pakistan zoo

Bear rescued from Islamabad Zoo, photo: Four Paws/Hristo Vladev
Bear rescued from Islamabad Zoo, photo: Four Paws/Hristo Vladev

All the animals at the Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan have finally been moved. Conditions at the zoo were so bad that a judge in May ordered all animals to be relocated. On Wednesday, two Himalayan bears named Bubloo and Suzie were the last to leave the zoo.

The animal welfare organization Four Paws moved Suzie and Bubloo to the sanctuary Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife in Jordan.

Suzie and Bubloo endured years of suffering. Before they came to the zoo, they were abused as so-called dancing bears. To prevent them from hurting their owner and spectators, both bears had almost all their teeth removed.

“With their departure to Jordan, we can give the bears the medical treatment and care they desperately need,” Four Paws veterinarian Amir Khalil said.  

“The Islamabad Zoo is now completely closed for both public and officials,” Saleem Shaikh, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change told AFP.

Almost three weeks ago, the 36-year-old elephant Kaavan left the zoo after he had been living in extremely poor conditions for nearly his whole life. Kaavan now lives in a sanctuary in Cambodia where he already made some friends.

In the past four months, Four Paws helped move over 30 animals from the zoo: Kaavan, Bubloo, Suzie, three wolves, twelve monkeys, a deer and fourteen rabbits.

Before Four Paws came to help with relocating the animals, two lions and an ostrich died in poor attempts from local zookeepers to move the animals. The lions died because keepers used fire to try to push them to walk in a direction.

With little animal welfare legislation, zoos across Pakistan are known for their poor conditions. A few days ago, a giraffe died at Peshawar zoo, where more than 30 animals, including a monkey, deer and snow leopard, have died since their opening in 2018.

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