SARGODHA: Less than a week after a donkey was bruised and beaten up in a political rally, videos of two sloth bears being made to dance during an electoral campaign in Sargodha emerged on Friday.
The bears’ dancing skills were proudly ‘flaunted’ during the electoral campaigns of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s candidates Ansar Majeed Khan and Dr Nadia Aziz at Block No 10 on City Road and University Road as well.
The PTI campaigners put stoles of party colours around the necks of the bears and made them dance to the tunes of party songs.
People gathered around the office of PTI as they seemingly enjoyed the dance of the two bears, some even joined the bears and dance alongside them.
In the videos, the bears, with one of them visibly aggressive, can be seen to have been controlled by their trainers with a rope threaded through their snouts.
Moreover, the official Facebook page of PTI’s candidate Ansar Majeed Khan, who is contesting from PS-78, even went ‘live’ on the social media platform during the bear dance.
However, the tradition is not new to South Asia. It dates back to the 13th century when trainers from Kalandar tribe enjoyed royal patronage and performed before the rich and powerful.
Even though the tradition has been largely wiped out now but only a few people continue to engage in it.
The bear trainers remove the canine and incisor teeth of the bear cubs as soon as they turn one. Due to this, the bears can only eat soft food and they continue to suffer from digestive problems the rest of their lives.
Political fever takes toll on donkey
Early Monday morning, a donkey was beaten and bruised after supporters of a political party wrote the name of a political rival on donkey’s body to elude to him.
The “donkey [was] beaten to pulp, punched in the face and abdomen several times, nose broken, kicked all over his body until he collapsed, has rope marks and a car rammed into him…..all of this to describe one political party as an “ass” by some hooligans as written on the poor donkey’s body,” wrote ACF Animal Rescue in a post on social media.
The donkey, who is currently being looked after by ACF Animal Rescue, was saved by a citizen, identified as Abdullah Mahmood, who then called rescue teams to help the animal.
PML-N supporter walks lion around NA-127
On July 2, a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supporter took to the streets of NA-127, Lahore constituency with a lion — the electoral symbol of the party.
“I will run Maryam’s campaign and walk this lion every day in every corner of NA-127 till the polling day,” Mian Zia had said.
In 2013, the party received flak from social media users after reports emerged that a white tigress being used a party mascot died due to prolonged exposure to heat.
However, these reports were negated by BBC and it claimed that the “white tigress named Sandy and owned by one of Mr Sharif’s supporters” was indeed “still alive”.
The white tigress had first come to public’s notice when she was brought to the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in Lahore on May 7, 2013. The animal looked severely dehydrated and exhausted.
The tigress was often seen chained in the open back of a Vigo during PML-N’s electoral campaigns.