Balding Former Circus Bear Finally Returns To The Wild

<p><a href="http://www.ad-international.org/adi_home/">Animal Defenders International</a> <span></span></p>

After years of abuse in a traveling circus, Cholita the spectacled bear has returned to the wild on Sunday.

The successful rehabilitation is the result of months of hard work by Animal Defenders International (ADI), who rescued the bear as part of a circus raid in March.

When ADI first found 25-year-old Cholita, she wasn't in good shape.

From her declawed fingers to her strained lungs, the hairless bear looked tired and worn.

Animal Defenders International
Animal Defenders International
Animal Defenders International

ADI brought her to the Spirit of Freedom rescue center near Lima, Peru.

Animal Defenders International

Rescuers gave her a comfortable, spacious home, and taught her how to care for herself.

Animal Defenders International

There, Cholita got the love and care she needed.

Animal Defenders International

After several months of rehabilitation, Cholita made a three-day journey over the Andes to her new home in the Amazon.

Animal Defenders International

Her truck was equipped with a special oxygen tent to ease her breathing during this potentially stressful journey.

Animal Defenders International

She traveled by truck and by boat.

Animal Defenders International

Cholita received the royal treatment as she was carried from her boat to her specially built habitat.

Animal Defenders International

Cholita used her nose to sniff out the place.

Animal Defenders International

It wasn't long before she felt right at home, in the wild where she belongs.

Animal Defenders International

"When we first met Cholita, the vivid scars of her abusive circus life were clear to see," said ADI president Jan Creamer in a press release. "She has come so far since then, and it is a wonderful feeling to have seen Cholita return to the world from which she was stolen as a baby. We thank everyone who has donated to help us save Cholita and bring her home."

Visit ad-international.org to learn more about how to support Cholita and other bears like her.