Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado : Parallels An animal welfare group says it now has permission to bring the Andean bear to a sanctuary in Colorado along with more than 30 lions that have been removed from circuses.

Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

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We have an update now - a happy one - to a story we heard Friday. It's about Cholita, an abused bear in Peru that was waiting to come to a sanctuary in the U.S. Here's NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Cholita is coming to America. The organization Animal Defenders International announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited the request, and she will be on her way next month. Cholita needed special approval because she is an endangered Andean, or spectacled, bear, the same kind as Paddington, the fictional bear from children's literature. Her destination is the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, one of the few places in the U.S. equipped to deal with large carnivores. We spoke to their executive director, Patrick Craig, by phone. Cholita suffered extreme abuse while she was a circus bear. Her claws were removed, leaving mangled paws. Her teeth were smashed out to stop her from defending herself. She lost all her hair. So he says it will take a while to get her used to her new habitat, like many of the animals they take in.

PATRICK CRAIG: A lot of them have very warped ideas who they are. They actually have to go through rehabilitation to slowly feel comfortable. There's a chance that, you know, her feet wouldn't allow her to have as much roaming capability, and so those are a lot of things we have to assess once she gets here.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Along with Cholita, the sanctuary will be giving a space to roam to 33 former circus lions who are also being airlifted by ADI out of Peru. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News.

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