On 7th October 2023, activists of the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) staged a silent protest at Gandhi Garden, known as the Karachi Zoo, in Karachi, Pakistan, to call for the freeing of Rano, a brown bear kept at the zoo. Rano was brought to Karachi Zoo in 2017 along with an Asiatic black bear who has not been seen since 2020.
After Rano was seen alone in the pit of an old Victorian-style zoo enclosure, concerned citizens filed a petition in the Sindh High Court, prompting the zoo to move the bear to the current cage after the court order.
Mehra Omar, PAWS co-founder told Arab News, “We the friends Rano held a silent protest in which students from the Karachi University brought in their artwork to highlight the plight of the lone brown bear…Rano does not belong in Karachi Zoo,” she said. “She is a Himalayan brown bear, a wildlife species native to Pakistan. Most likely snatched from the wild as a cub, she has spent her entire life in cruel captivity. She cannot bear it any longer. The only way to right all the wrongs done to her is to let her spend the rest of her life in a sanctuary… She is frustrated in this completely inadequate cage that was built for her in 2020. Whoever designed it had absolutely no idea about the needs of a wild bear.”
There are places not too far from the zoo where the bear could be taken. The bear could be rescued and taken to the national wildlife rehabilitation centre run by the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board. Alternatively, the bear sanctuary in Balkasar in Punjab run by the Ministry of Climate Change would also be an option.