LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Dancing bears might sound adorable at first, but in fact it’s a cruel and illegal practice done in India.
However, one local zookeeper has traveled to South Asia to help the abused sloth bears hoping to create a little bit of change.
Claire McElroy is a carnivore keeper at the Little Rock Zoo. She was one of a group of staff that traveled to Nepal to help with the training and rehabilitation of the sloth bears at one of the largest rescue sanctuaries in India
She says these bears are an important component of nature and wildlife and hopes to educate locals.
“Sloth bears aren’t very common here in the states. There’s only 40 of them currently. Our relationship with them is really important because we’re able to pick up a lot of tips and tricks from their keepers – vet care things like that and we’re able to apply that to our sloth bears here in Little Rock.” says McElroy.
Claire says that sloth bears are still being illegally captured, and they are beaten and forced to dance as a way of income for some South Asian tribes.
For more on the Indian Sloth Bears click HERE.