The Cholita Bear Fund
This fund has been established after requests from ADI supporters for a memorial to an incredible bear who inspired people across the world
Spectacled bear (Paddington bear) Cholita was torn from the wild in Peru as a baby, her mother likely killed. She was sold to a circus and they cut off her fingers to the joint to prevent her claws growing, snapped off her canine teeth and kept her in a tiny cage. The stress was so great she lost all her fur, but they never broke her spirit. After more than a decade wildlife officials found and seized her, she was an endangered (CITES I listed) species and so, illegal. But there was nowhere for her, so a small zoo agreed to take her and she spent another decade waiting for a home as officials searched. Then Animal Defenders International (ADI) came into her life, during our work with officials to seize circus animals follow a government ban. They asked if we could help Cholita.
ADI took her into our temporary rescue unit and searched for a home. The tragic life of the real-life Paddington bear touched people worldwide. A home was built in the rainforest at Taricaya at the foot of Cholita’s natural range. Within a year, three more bears were rescued and joined Cholita. Famous for her love of grapes, Cholita enjoyed life for eight precious years, finally passing away at the age of 33, a good age for a spectacled bear.
Before Cholita there was nowhere in Peru for rescued bears like her – she changed everything.
The Cholita Bear Fund is a living memorial to ensure there is always a place for abused bears, to:
- Fund the care of rescued bears at Taricaya
- Maintain the bear habitats
- Support the rescue of bears
- Help the fight against all illegal wildlife trafficking in Peru
That will be Cholita’s legacy.