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DRAMATIC RESCUE OF TWO YOUNG CUBS
Free the Bears have recently welcomed the addition of two tiny arrivals at Tat Kuang Si in Laos after they were handed over by their private owner. Being kept in the centre of Luang Prabang, they were kept just metres away from the main street where thousands of tourists pass by each day- an environment that is vastly different from the wild where these tiny cubs were thoughtlessly taken from. The two cubs, for now named Laos Rescue #33 and Rescue #34, are likely just 6 months-old.
The two Moon bear cubs, a male and female, were kept as illegal pets purchased when they were just weeks old in April of this year. Their eyes were still closed at their time of purchase, a sign of just how young they were. Three cubs were initially purchased, with the female having a sibling however sadly the third cub did not survive, proving how fragile these little lives can be without the care of their Mother in the wild.
Free the Bears Chief Executive, Matt Hunt, was part of the rescue mission to bring the cubs into safety. He says that they were racing to the finish line upon hearing of the cubs and that the third cub had recently died.
“With news that the third cub had already passed away, it was of utmost priority for us to rescue the remaining duo as soon as possible. They were very young at their time of purchase, estimated to be less than 4 weeks old. Even with around-the-clock care from our experienced staff, cubs at this age rarely survive. We were very keen to get these remaining cubs into our expert care.”
With the wet season now in full swing in Laos, the rescue mission led the Bear Education and Rescue (B.E.A.R) mobile along some precarious mountain roads from Luang Prabang to the sanctuary. Thanks to generous supporters and donors, our new rescue vehicle equipped with boosted suspension for these kinds of environments was purchased just a few months earlier this year.
With a little bit of encouragement in the form of some tasty natural honey, the cubs were tempted into their transportation crates and taken back to Tat Kuang Si Park, home to the Free the Bears rescue centre in Laos.
Both cubs are now safely settled into their den at Bear House 1 and their characters are already beginning to shine through with the female the most confident of the pair, despite her smaller size. The male, with a distinctive grey-flecked face, tends to hold back and let his friend explore first before he follows. Once the cubs have completed their quarantine, they’ll be able to venture outside into the forest enclosures but space is now at a premium at Tat Kuang Si which is now home to 29 Moon bears.
Please consider donating to support our work in Laos and ensure that we can continue to provide a safe home for any bears, like these tiny Moon bear cubs, in need. We need your support now as we start looking for more land to expand our capacity for rescuing more bears in Laos. Click here to donate to Free the Bears to make this possible.