Dancing bears were banned in India in 1972 but there are still 600 on the streets. Caught from the wild as tiny cubs, the poachers burn holes through their noses with red-hot pokers, thread a rope through and train them to ‘dance’, lifting their feet to avoid the excruciating pain of the hot plate they are forced to stand on. Their teeth and claws are removed and the bears are severely beaten throughout their lives. Born Free supports the work of International Animal Rescue (IAR) as they rescue the dancing bears and provide them with a safe haven. IAR want dancing bears to be part of the past. Born Free is currently helping them to build a vet clinic at their bear sanctuary in Bannerghatta to provide specialised treatment for the bears already rescued. The centre will also benefit Born Free’s rescued tigers who live next door at Bannerghatta.