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Cruel animal-centred entertainment (17/02/15 21:05:27)
"Bear-baiting was popular in England until the 19th century. From the sixteenth century, many bears were maintained for baiting. In its best-known form, arenas for this purpose were called bear-gardens, consisting of a circular high fenced area, the "pit", and raised seating for spectators. A post would be set in the ground towards the edge of the pit and the bear chained to it, either by the leg or neck. A number of well-trained hunting dogs, usually Old English Bulldog, would then be set on it, being replaced as they got tired or were wounded or killed. In some cases the bear was let loose, allowing it to chase after animals or people. "
"Variations involved other animals being baited, especially bulls. Bull-baiting was a contest which was similar to bear baiting in which the bull was chained to a stake by one hind leg or by the neck and worried by dogs. The whipping of a blinded bear was another variation of bear-baiting. Also, on one curious occasion, a pony with an ape tied to its back was baited; a spectator described that "...with the screaming of the ape, beholding the curs hanging from the ears and neck of the pony, is very laughable"."
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