How will your donation be used?
Across our sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, we care for over 220 rescued bears, all of which require a huge amount of resources in the form of time, money and care. The rescued bears need rehabilitation, a healthy diet, medical provisions, enrichment activities, hammocks, climbing platforms, cooling pools, dens & forest enclosures.
Free the Bears is a growing organisation. Each year we take on more rescues as our government partners are able to increasingly enforce wildlife laws and confiscate animals. We're already developing programs to generate funds (Volunteer Program and Bear Care Tours), which help pay for our Education and Awareness programs. However we can unashamedly state that we need your help to cover the costs of caring for the rescued bears in our sanctuaries. We're fighting to end bear bile farming in Vietnam and Laos and confident this will happen in the next few years. In preparation for bile farm closures we're building faciltiies to house the rescued animals - we need your help to complete these facilities. Please give generously. Here's how your donation will be used:
Our bears receive a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruit supplemented with dog biscuits for protein and additional pulses & grains. It costs over AUD$5 per day to feed a single bear. Many of our bears are rescued at an early age, sometimes as young as 1 month old. With a lifespan of 30-40 years, that's a lot of vegetables!
Bears are extremely intelligent creatures. They have one of the largest brain to body sizes of all carnivores. To keep their complex minds stimulated and provide them as close an environment as possible to their natural habitat, they receive different enrichment activities daily. Treat balls, 'wobble poles', ball puzzles and feeding tubes all challenge and entertain our bears. But nothing lasts long around a bear and they regularly need replacement.
Bears are solitary creatures in the wild. We don't have the luxury of space to offer each bear a large forested enclosure of their own so they learn to share their forested enclosures with other bears. It's important however that we provide them private spaces to avoid conflict. Climbing platforms and hammocks are loved by the bears, for relaxation & fun, as well as giving them a space to call their own. Hammocks are lovingly woven by our volunteers using materials purchased with your donation.
Many of our rescued bears require extensive medical care. Whether it's a small cub, a bile farm bear with injuries/disease or bears in the sanctuaries requiring health checks and general health care, our vet department is constantly busy providing the very best treatment & care possible. New keyhole surgery and ophthalmic techniques have been developed with Free the Bears to reduce the trauma, recovery time and suffering of sick bears, and restore their sight. These new surgical techniques will benefit other species throughout the world.
To make up for the suffering our rescued bears have endured, we try to provide them the best life possible, as close as we can to a natural life. We provide large forest enclosures with cooling pools to escape the summer heat. There's always work to be done to repair and improve the enclosures and we're currently building two new sanctuaries to help provide refuge to additional rescued bears and other endangered species. None of this would be possible without the kindness and generosity of our supporters. Thank you for your help.