Help for abused bears


IQALUIT — There may be hope for a group of polar bears being kept in feces-lined cages and made to suffer in sweltering heat by a Mexican circus.

The seven bears – three of which are from Churchill – are owned by the Suarez Bros. Circus. The animals plight received international attention last week when circus-goers in Puerto Rico, where the circus is touring, complained about the bears’ condition.

Most comfortable in Arctic conditions, the bears were reportedly caged for 24 hours without water or air-conditioning while temperatures soared to around 40 C.

The three Churchill bears, Carl, Kenneth, and Royal, left the Arctic in 1986, when they were deemed to be nuisances and sold to a West German zoo. The zoo then sold them to the circus, where they balance balls on their noses, climb steps, and slide down ramps.

Manitoba’s conservation minister, Oscar Lathlin, said he is asking the U.S. government to investigate the situation, and, if necessary, seize the animals.

The government of Manitoba says that since 1995, no orphaned or nuisance bears have been sent to zoos or circuses.

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