Bald, elderly bear who suffered years of abuse at a circus finally gets a new home
Cholita, an Andean Spectacled bear, had endured years of loneliness in a tiny cage at a circus in Peru.
The 25-year-old bear's claws had been removed and her teeth were broken off. The stressful existence left her nearly completely bald.
Cholita was confiscated by the Peruvian authorities and placed in a zoo, where she was found by Animal Defenders International.
The organization gave her around-the-clock care at their rescue center near Lima. Following years of living in a cage, Cholita was finally given toys to keep her entertained, a pool to bathe in and hanging fruits to enjoy.
See photos of Cholita:
After she was nursed back to health, ADI took her on a three-day, thousand-mile journey across the Andes before she arrived in a specially-built habitat in the Amazon.
Her new home was built by volunteers at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve in the Amazon Cloud Forest – the natural habitat for Spectacled bears. She will now get to enjoy a bathing pool and a cave at her new home.
The organization said that, after she arrived, "Cholita found herself in the forest, hearing all the sounds she has not heard for a lifetime, smelling the earth, touching the leaves and the trees."
ADI President Jan Creamer said the organization is overjoyed that Cholita has returned to a natural habitat.
"When we first met Cholita, the vivid scars of her abusive circus life were clear to see," she said. "She has come so far since then, and it is a wonderful feeling to have seen Cholita return to the world from which she was stolen as a baby."
The organization is now working to relocate three more Andean Spectacled bears as part of their Operation Spirit of Freedom.
Visit the organization's website for more information.
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