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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 06:27 GMT
Mission to save performing bears
Picture of bear in sanctuary supplied by International Animal Rescue
Any bears that are rescued will be taken to a sanctuary in Agra
Charity workers from East Sussex are travelling to India to rescue bears which are made to "dance" for tourists.

A team from International Animal Rescue (IAR) is leaving for Agra on Thursday, where the animals are forced by handlers to perform near the Taj Mahal.

The workers have been given the go-ahead by the Indian government to rescue the bears.

IAR, based in Uckfield, will take them to a sanctuary run by Indian charity Wildlife SOS, which it helps to fund.

The East Sussex charity, which estimates there are about 1,200 dancing bears in India, has already rescued more than 60 bears .

It also supports a government retraining scheme to set up the bears' owners in alternative employment.

Bear sanctuary given cash boost
29 Jul 04  |  Southern Counties
Hope for India's dancing bears
21 Jan 03  |  Science/Nature

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