Islamabad Zoo’s last remaining animals Bubloo and Suzie are all set to leave for Jordan on December 17. The two Himalayan bears were initially scheduled to leave Pakistan on December 10, but the government had barred the animals from leaving at the last moment despite court orders.

In a written order, the court said: “The natural habitat of Suzie and Bubloo was the high altitude plateau of Deosai National Park in the Himalayas. It was indeed inhumane to have deprived them of living in their natural habitat merely for the entertainment of the human species.”

“They have remained caged in the Marghazar Zoo for more than a decade. A zoo, no matter how well equipped, is no less than a concentration camp for living beings. They were born free and taking them out of their natural habitat and caging them was in violation of the natural rights bestowed upon them by the Creator.”


“They have suffered enough and they lack the ability to let the human species know what they must have gone through. Their abnormal behaviour while imprisoned was sufficient to speak volumes for the unimaginable pain and suffering.”

“The relocation of Kaavan the elephant, and the two Himalayan brown bears, Suzie and Bubloo, to appropriate sanctuaries has set a precedent for others to follow. They will always represent the people of Pakistan and their resolve to treat living species with respect and dignity,” it added.

The transfer of the former dancing bears to Jordan was first announced in early October, with the Jordanian government saying it would facilitate the relocation. Back then Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Chairman Dr Anisur Rehman had said that the two bears, including their import and export permits, are ready. He had said that he is confident that the bears will receive better psychological and physical treatment in the sanctuary abroad.

“The bear sanctuary is looked after by the (Jordanian) king’s aunt, Princess Alia, and she has given us an import permit within a day,” Dr Rehman had shared.

It was earlier reported that the bears are not being moved to Jordan permanently. They will reportedly be flown back to Islamabad once they have fully recovered and their enclosures at Islamabad Zoo are ready. Animals at the Islamabad Zoo are being relocated after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that the zoo is not fit enough for them and lacks the necessary facilities.

Both the Himalayan brown bears suffer from psychological problems due to living in a substandard enclosure, with the female Suzie undergoing major surgery in the summer after a tumour was removed from her chest. Local vets were unable to stitch up seven inches open cut in the centre of her chest and she developed an infection. Four Paws vets, who arrived in August, operated on Suzie again and cleaned the infected wound. This was also the reason why sanctuaries within Pakistan refused to take them in.

“She is now recovering and healthy. Both bears are doing well physically now that we have put them on a better nutritional diet of fruits and vegetables. Suzie had diarrhea all the time because she was mostly fed milk,” a spokesperson for Four Paws, Marion Lombard, told local media outlets.

Friends of Islamabad Zoo (FIZ), who have been campaigning for the animals, in a note posted to social media, also addressed those who said that the bears should have been moved to a local sanctuary instead of an international one.

“Both the bears have no teeth and have been dependent on humans since birth,” wrote the animal rights body. “They will not be able to survive wild in the Deosai Plains and will need constant care.”


“Other than that from what we were told, Deosai now has 76 bears and adding two bears with no experience of living with other bears won’t be able to survive and will need to be kept confined.”

FIZ said that Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife is the ideal place for the two bears because it is located 3500 feet above sea level, double the height of Islamabad and is climatically suited to Himalayan brown bears. They added that their facilities are top-class and the bears will be well taken care of there.

Meanwhile, speaking to a local media publication, veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil, who is overlooking the bears move to Jordan, expressed his relief over the decision and said that Suzie and Bubloo would find a species-appropriate home and proper care in Jordan. Dr Khalil also oversaw the relocation of Kaavan to Cambodia.

“As a vet, I am delighted that in the end, humanity and the bears are the winners,” Khalil said.