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 Captive bear at Bosnian road side cafe

Captive bear at Bosnian road side cafe

Author: John Linnell/Wednesday, January 23, 2008/Categories: Gallery

The 1980's and 1990's saw a Europe-wide focus on the cruelty of the tradition of dancing bears, and a number of welfare groups established sanctuaries around Europe where confiscated dancing bears could live out their days in humane conditions. As a result the dancing bear tradition is now almost extinct in Europe. However, throughout the western Balkans (e.g. Bosnia, Albania) there is an equally cruel, and largely ignored problem - that of keeping wild animals, often bears and wolves, captive at road side cafes as an attraction for guests. As this picture from Bosnia illustrates, the animals are kept in terrible conditions. It serves to illustrate just how much work remains to change people's attitudes with respect to the ethics that dictate our interaction with the natural world and its wild creatures.

Text: John Linnell / Photo: Sasa Kunovac

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