In a major victory for animal rights, the last two known illegal dancing bears in Nepal were recently rescued, effectively ending the practice in that country. After a lengthy effort by the Jane Goodall Institute Nepal, World Animal Protection, and local law enforcement, the sloth bears — named Rangila and Sridevi — were taken from their owners and relocated to a wildlife sanctuary for treatment. They were found by tracking their owners’ cell phones.

The cruel practice of ‘dancing bears’ involves piercing the noses of poached bears using hot rods and placing a chain or rope through the hole for control purposes. The bears are subjected to cruel training methods and forced to dance for paying spectators. Often, bears are taken from their mothers at an early age and spend most of their lives performing. Rescuers reported that Rangila and Sridevi showed signs of extreme distress and psychological trauma, such as paw sucking, cowering, and pacing.

Thanks to more than 20 years of hard work by dedicated organizations, the dancing bear industry has been put to an end in India, Greece and Turkey. Efforts are currently being made to stop the practice in Pakistan. We only hope that, very soon, this cruel industry will end for good worldwide.