Protecting Wild Bears

Free the Bears’ research programme was created to improve our understanding of wild bear populations and the threats they face, as well as assess and improve the welfare of the bears in our care. We partner with governments, universities, and other institutions around the world in order to end the exploitation of bears.  We've hosted international wild animal rescue conferences and in 2017 jointly organised the first ever symposium on sun bear conservation.

Preparing for release

To improve the protection of bears in the wild, we must first determine the current status of bear populations and habitat, as well as understanding the threats facing bears. By monitoring wild bear populations, we can identify areas that could one day support the release of bears back to the wild.

Wild Bear Populations

Free the Bears supports the governments in our host countries to develop methods to monitor wild bear populations. We've conducted training for Bear Sign Surveys in protected areas of Cambodia and Vietnam and conducted ground-breaking research on bear habitats in Lao PDR, where we have engaged in direct protection of wild bear populations.

Snare Patrols

In Nam Kan National Protected Area, Laos, we have employed local villagers to remove snares set to catch bears and other large animals.  In communities surrounding Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area, we are working with local communities to develop and promote techniques to mitigate human-bear conflict due to crop-raiding by bears.