Free the Bears Turns 21:
Our Plans to Celebrate

If it wasn't for the passion and tenacity of Free the Bears founder Mary Hutton, 900 bears' lives would have turned out very differently indeed. 

The iconic Perth charity will celebrate its 21st birthday in March with a cocktail party at Perth Zoo to honour its founder and raise money for a new bear sanctuary in Vietnam. 

Mary first started the charity after seeing a news report on Asiatic bears who were being kept in horrific conditions so their bile could be removed for use in traditional medicines. The story catapulted Mary into action, the next day she was petitioning at her local shopping centre and Free the Bears was born.

"What an honour and a privelage it has been to see Free the Bears grow over the past 21 years," Mary said. 

"It's been an incredible journey to say the least. In being there for bears, I have uncovered a network of compassionate, inspiring and dedicated individuals who have helped me to achieve a dream. Since this time, we have successfully saved over 900 bears from a life of cruelty."

"The bears have led me down a path that I never envisioned I'd walk down, but it has been full of wonder, heartbreak, courage and inspiration."

Mary added that reaching the milestone wouldn't have been possible without her dedicated team and the volunteers. 

"Since our humble beginnings we've built world-class sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos and also provided support to sanctuaries in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam. We are top of our game in international bear rescue, rehabilitation, innovative environmental education and implementing pioneering programs aimed at protecting bears in the wild," she said. 

"This has come from our shared vision to bring about change for bears suffering around the world. I thank the greater Free the Bears team for continuing to inspire others harbouring similar desires to join the fight for bears."

"This will be a night to celebrate with joy the lives of the bears we have saved and to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who's been part of the journey."

The 21st birthday will be celebrated in glamorous style under the stars at Perth Zoo with a gala cocktail party on Saturday, March 19 from 7-11pm complete with gourmet food, fine wine and bubbles, carnival performers, the Baker Boys Band and a silent auction. Tickets to the Free the Bears 21st Birthday cocktail party can be purchased at: 



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