Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Dancing Bears and the Born Free Foundation

My story in Gentle Footprints is called Meena and is about a dancing bear.

Despite the cheery sounding name, dancing bears are abused animals. They are often taken from their mother at a very young age and reared by their captors with one aim; to make them money.

One of the most common bears to be captured for this purpose across Asia is the sloth bear. The sloth bear can measure up to 1.9 metres and weigh up to 140g. Despite their weight and height they have a teddy bear look due to their long, shaggy coat and white U shaped marking on its chest. Sloth bears are nocturnal by nature.

It is particularly heartbreaking when the mothers and cubs are seperated as there is a strong bond between them, with sloth bears being the only bear to carry its cubs on its back. The cubs stay with their mother for up to three years.

The sloth bear is classed as a vulnerable species and there is thought to be less than 10,000 left.
Although dancing bears have been banned in India for over 40 years it is thought that there are still around 600 on the streets.

Dancing bears are reared and 'tamed' with a cruel hand and their treatment includes having holes burnt through their noses through which a rope can be threaded, regular beatings, removal of their teeth and claws and being forced to stand on hotplates to make them dance.

International Animal Rescue, supported by the Born Free Foundation, are working to rescue dancing bears and take them to their bear sanctury in Bannerghatta. Here a clinic is also being built where vets can help the rescued bears.

Still to come this week I will share some bear facts with you but tomorrow I will be telling you a bit more about my story Meena.


  1. Hi Dulcie, I have just read your recent post and found it heartbreaking. I knew about dancing bears in the past, but to hear the about the atrocities which are still perpetrated against them even nowadays is shocking. I find it hard to understand how anyone could see this as entertainment, and it makes me very angry and sad for the animal and in a strange way for the humans who find it necessary to continue such barbarity.

    Hopefully your story will help to raise awareness about the plight of bears like Meena and others – so well done! – Mandy James

  2. Thanks Mandy. It is terrible isn't it? I was considering putting a You Tube clip of a dancing bear on the site sometime this week but I thought it might be too upsetting for some people and you can't be sure who posted and filmed it i.e. who is making money out of it!