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About Dancing Bears

Young bears are captured in the wild, separated from their mothers, and taught by a trainer to become dancing bears in conditions of unimaginable cruelty.

The young animals are forced onto sheets of glowing hot metal and, in order to escape the pain, the bears alternate lifting up one paw and then another while a music is played. The process is repeated again and again until the animals automatically begin to raise their paws - to "dance" - in fear of the pain, even when there are no metal sheets.


As the bears get older the trainers keep them under control by inflicting pain. They do this by putting rings through the bears' highly sensitive noses and jaws. No anaesthetic is used for this painful process. Chains are attached to the rings so that the trainers can control the animals, which weigh up to 350 kilograms, with only a slight tug on the chains.


The bear’s claws are trimmed several times a year and their teeth broken or removed so they can’t injure their trainer. The bears also suffer with an inadequate diet that usually consists of white bread, sugar and alcohol. All these cause serious physical health problems for the bears. Many also display stereotypic behaviours such as swaying and pacing and self mutilation as they can’t follow natural behavioural patterns and instincts.