Who doesn’t love a good watermelon?
In this video from the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center, rescued Indian sloth bears swipe and grab at watermelons hung like a pinata from a branch. And boy do they seem to enjoy themselves.
Sadly, these bears haven’t always experienced such a stress-free life: The Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center, located just outside New Delhi, in India, specializes in protecting sloth bears like these, also called “dancing bears.” For the past 400 years, the sloth bear has been poached and exploited for entertainment in India. The bears are captured, mutilated, and forced to dance for crowds. In 1972, the dancing bear practice was declared illegal, but illicit trading is still rampant.
With continued efforts and awareness, the brutal practice of capturing “dancing bears” can be permanently eradicated. Hopefully, the biggest obstacles these bears must tackle in the future will be wrangling a watermelon down from a branch.