A Lone Himalayan Bear Crammed in a Small Cage at the Karachi Zoo

languishing in a barren cage rano was brought to the karachi zoo in 2017 photo anadolu agency

Languishing in a barren cage, Rano was brought to the Karachi Zoo in 2017.

Also known as the Himalayan red bear, the Himalayan brown bear is a subspecies of the brown bear found in the western Himalayas. It is the largest mammal in the region, with males reaching up to 2.2 metres (7.2 feet) in length, while females are a little smaller. The bear, whose natural habitat is the cold alpine meadows of Deosai National Park and other mountain regions of northern Pakistan, is a critically endangered species with only 150 to 200 left in the country, mainly because of human intrusion and the climate change.

Languishing in a barren cage, Rano was brought to the Karachi Zoo in 2017 along with an Asiatic black bear who died in 2020. Her cage has two small chambers and an open courtyard with a tiny pond in the middle. The weather-beaten bear’s coat has already started losing its color due to the hot and humid weather of the city.

“She needs to be taken out of the Zoo as soon as possible because she does not belong to any zoo.” The bear should be moved to a wildlife sanctuary in northeastern Pakistan. The sanctuary, established by a wildlife biologist Fakhari Abbas in 2010, has already agreed to take Reno back. “Reno has suffered enough,” said Omar, cofounder of the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society.

Reno is believed to have been poached from the wild as a cub and spent years in captivity in a private zoo before being brought to her current home in 2017 along with a male Asiatic black bear. The pair were made to live inside a Victorian-era cement pit that housed the zoo’s previous bear, Emma, who died in 2013. Following the death of the black bear, it took a court order for authorities to shift Rano to her current cage.

However, Aamir Ismail Rizvi, deputy director of Zoo, claims that Reno is a Syrian bear and was brought to the facility “under an exchange program from a private zoo” operating in the northern outskirts of Karachi. It does not require cold conditions. It’s very much fine here,” Aamir insisted.

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