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Tourism and Animals

Dancing Bears

In some countries bears are used as a tourist attraction either by making them "dance" for photographs or having them fight with dogs or other bears. Cubs are caught from the wild, their teeth and claws pulled out and their nose, cheeks and muzzles pierced with metal rings or directly with chains or ropes. By using inhumane methods they are trained to stand on their hind paws to "dance" on command. These methods include the use of hot plates which they are forced to stand on while a certain melody is playing. Like this they associate the music with pain and will lift their paws. The other method is inflicting pain by pulling the ropes or chains pierced through the bears' muzzle which makes them pull their head to avoid the pain.

These reactionary activities still persist in many parts of the world, particularly in Eastern Europe, India and Pakistan. Many animals suffer serious injuries from the chains and ropes. Their diet is poor, often leading to diseases and blindness from lack of necessary vitamins and minerals. Their living conditions are often deplorable. Bears are kept on short chains or ropes and spend much of their time chained when not performing.

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