We have seen them during the childhood and even now they are seen occasionally all over India, a man in rags with a bear in tow, his nose ruthlessly pierced and tied to a rope.
They dance to the tune of their masters and earn money for them. Capturing and taming bears is illegal, for decades but it still goes on, mainly because the owners of these bears are really, really poor and it’s their only livelihood- which barely gives them enough to keep them, their families half starved.
Despite the ban prohibiting capture and confinement of sloth bears, they are still on demand in India. The bear cubs are bought and trained to dance by Kalandars, who earn their livelihood through bear dance performances. Kalandars have been known to visit tourist hotspots in Nepal to organise bear dances. The bear cubs are captured in India and are taken to…
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