Moon bear cubs rescued from private residence in Cambodia's capital
Sunday 17 July 2016
Two Moon bear cubs being kept as pets on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh were rescued yesterday in collaboration with the Cambodian Forestry Administration. The young cubs - around 18 months old - are likely to be siblings and were being housed in a small cage behind a private house. The owner had been gifted the bears, reportedly from Thailand.
As is usually the case with wild animals being kept as pets, the cubs soon outgrew their tiny abode. Becoming too much to handle, the house owner agreed to hand the cubs over and they were subsequently transferred to the Bear Quarantine Area at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. The arrivals mark our 194th and 195th bear rescues in Cambodia which has the best record of any country in the region for bear rescues but still faces huge issues in terms of illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss.
The two cubs had been fed an incorrect diet and were housed inappropriately in a barren cage with little effort made at providing them with the mental stimulation that these highly intelligent animals require. Fortunately bears are resilient and it is hoped that the new arrivals will adjust quickly to their new lives at our sanctuary. Following a short quarantine period and health checks work will begin rehabilitating the youngsters to a more natural lifestyle. The large forested enclosures, equipped with climbing structures, pools, natural vegetation and a specialized diet allow rescued bears to regain some of their natural behaviour.
The illegal hunting of bears in Cambodia’s forests has led to a rise in the number of young cubs being brought in to our care, with six cubs already rescued in Cambodia so far this year. If you wish to support these youngest victims of the illegal wildlife trade, please consider purchasing a Cub Care Kit or sponsoring one of our rescued bears.