Rescue update: Rene
We caught up with Rene, a female Asiatic black bear rescued from bear baiting in 2012.
At first sight, Rene (who's name means "Reborn" in French) appears to be the happiest bear in the world.
Her shiny coat, soft features, and adorable ears give her a warm appearance.
Long removed from the horrific trauma she faced prior to being rescued, Rene is now thriving with the other rescued bears at our partner sanctuary (Balkasar) in Pakistan.
Rene arrived at the sanctuary at the tender age of 5, alongside three other female Asiatic black bears who had also been rescued from bear baiting.
Bear baiting is a brutal form of "entertainment" in rural Pakistan, where bears are captured and forced into an inhumane bloodsport, battling trained dogs while unable to defend themselves.
Bears like Rene will endure immense pain even before they fight. Their canine teeth are broken, their muzzles are painfully pierced, and their claws are often removed.
When rescued, Rene had a large open facial wound caused by the cruel nose piercing which was severely painful and required extensive treatment.
Under these circumstances, many bears don't make it past the age of eight.
Thankfully, Rene was rescued early enough to regain her health.
Rene was also the smallest bear brought to Balkasar at the time, but even back then, she had a big appetite!
Today, Rene is taking full advantage of her much-deserved second chance at life, and we couldn't be happier to see her progress throughout these years.