Since ages ago, people go to circuses for fun and entertainment. There are a lot of activities to do and performances to watch. Every circus has its main highlight, and sometimes it’s a talented animal. They are incredibly talented creatures trained to entertain the audience. Although amazing, some circuses should be held accountable for exploitation. There are many cases of mistreated animals — cooped up in cages, physically abused, or forced to perform. They are also deprived of proper nourishment and medical care. The animal is just seen as a source of income, which is truly heartbreaking. It’s even more saddening when the animal grew up in that kind of environment. They grow up unfamiliar with their natural habitat and are often forced to work at an early age.
Circus life can be distressing, which is the root cause of health problems. The animals are getting mentally and physically sick from the mistreatment. Several organizations aim to rescue animals from being captives to provide them with freedom. White Rock Bear Shelter in Ukraine has been doing an impressive job of saving animals from human cruelty. Their residents are now living free and don’t have to perform for an audience in order to be treated right. Each of them carries past wounds and has different ways to cope. For Synochok, his freedom means being able to heal his inner child. He was caged for so long that he couldn’t completely enjoy his youth and play anytime he wanted.
The bear shelter rescued Synochok from a family of circus trainers back in 2018. He was terribly deprived of freedom — the only thing he could recognize is the metal cage he stayed in for a long period. The shelter has placed him in a spacious area where he can roll around, play, and just be a bear. However, Synochok had a different reaction toward freedom. Since he couldn’t recognize the feeling, the former circus bear only remained inside the cage. Everything was so unfamiliar that it took him some time to absorb his new life. Perhaps Synochok thought that it would be dangerous to go out or punishment would be waiting for him.
“More than two weeks, he was not able psychologically to go out and to feel grass or water. We waited and we waited to move him to enclosure,” Maryna said. When Synochok finally tried to familiarize himself with the surroundings, he was surprised by the new sensations surrounding him. It might have taken too long, but Synochok’s reaction to freedom was worth the wait. The former circus bear happily ran like a child around his spacious enclosure. “His name means Son in English because he’s like a child. Sometimes he demonstrates behavior that’s more typical for bear cubs, but not for adult bear,” Maryna explained.
Seems like Synochok grabbed the opportunity to act like a child, which was taken away from him. Despite his heartbreaking past, he still remained soft as a teddy bear. Instead of displaying aggressive behavior, he focused his energy on playing, socializing with others, and interacting with humans. He’s a huge fur of sunshine who loves to play with water and keeps his favorite ball in a special place. Aside from letting out his playful side, Synochok loves communicating with others. He lightens up whenever shelter staff is nearby. Synochok would even gesture for a human to come closer so that he can hear his visitor’s voice. It’s even more saddening to think that such a sweet bear was a captive for a long time. Thankfully, he is now safe, happy, content, and comfortable.
“We devoted our life to make bears’ lives more happy than they were in the past,” Maryna lovingly shared. Indeed, White Rock Bear Shelter successfully provided that life for Synochok and other bears. Hopefully, more animals are taken out of an abusive or neglectful environment. They must be given the chance to heal their inner child as well. Animals are meant to be free. You can visit the delightful bears, as they are open for a tour. Learn more about the shelter on its official website or by following its Instagram page.