Vietnam Bear Rescue October 2020

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 26:  BREAKING NEWS: VIETNAM

We've heard of 2 female moon bears caged in this dirty, awful prison. We've been told that they've been caged for at least 14 years! It's almost certain they've been mutilated to extract bile from their gall bladders. We have a real chance to rescue these two but NEED YOUR HELP to do so. If you can possibly spare a few dollars, please make a DONATION HERE, or even better still, please sign up to BE A BEAR CARER monthly donor, which will allow us to continue rescuing bears & caring for hundreds of rescued bears in our care. 

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 29 UPDATE

Our Vietnam Programme Manager Mr Dung was able to make a visit to the bears. We've learnt sad new details:
(i) The bears have been caged since 2002 - making it 18 YEARS already in a tiny cage. 
(ii) There were 5 bears, 3 have died already
(iii) The bears appear to be well over 200kg. A healthy adult female moon bear should weigh around 100kg
(iv) The owner was caught by Vietnam's Environment Police trying to sell bear paws. He is now in prison
(v) It is believed these are the LAST 2 BEARS in Lam Dong province that are being kept in bile farms/private households.
When we rescue these 2 girls, another province in Vietnam will be free of bears suffering in horrific prisons. We're desperately trying to rescue the girls this week. Thank you to everyone who can help support this rescue. Any funds we raise over and above the cost of the rescue will go towards the extensive vet care and rehabilitation the bears will require. 
 

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 30 UPDATE

Great news! We have authorization to rescue the bears TOMORROW (Thursday October 1). We'll keep you updated as the rescue progresses. THANK YOU everyone for the overwhelming response to our rescue appeal. We've received a stack of donations to help with the rescue. Any excess will go towards the extensive vet care & rehabilitation of the bears (apologies if you received multiple emails about this). Thank you for your support, we couldn't do it without you!

THURSDAY OCTOBER 1 UPDATE

Our team have arrived to rescue the girls. The bears are huge and they've already discovered one has lost her front left paw, whether from a wire snare trap or chopped off, we can't be sure. Good luck with the rescue team!

FRIDAY OCTOBER 2 UPDATE

SUCCESS! 2 BEARS RESCUED, ANOTHER PROVINCE FREE OF BEAR BILE FARMS! The 2 female moon bears caged & tortured for over 18 years are now safe at our Cat Tien Bear Rescue Centre in quarantine. They're already enjoying experiences they may have never had - fresh fruit & vegetables, branches to smell & play with, a hammock to relax in, peace & safety.
The rescue went very well with the girls able to be walked into the transport crates (using honey as an incentive, of course), although the larger bear missing a paw took some time. Great work Free the Bears Vietnam & thanks to our government partners from Lam Dong who have helped make another province free of bile farm bears! Special thanks to all of our supporters who helped with the rescue & rehabilitation of these two bears (& all the bears we've rescued, we couldn't do it without you!).

SATURDAY OCTOBER 17 UPDATE

The girls appear to be doing well, enjoying the safety of the sanctuary, a healthy new diet and the special loving care they've been given by our carers. They're exploring the quarantine facility and have just discovered the joys of lazing in hammocks  (lucky our hammocks are built to easily hold males around 200kg). Thank you to our supporters for making this possible.
 
TO READ MORE ABOUT THE STATUS OF BEARS IN VIETNAM, READ OUR WEBSITE BLOG HERE
Since January 2018 Free the Bears has rescued 50 sun bears & moon bears, two of the world's most vulnerable bear species, far more than any wildlife charity worldwide during this period. Over the past 25 years, we've helped rescue over 950 bears. The recent influx of rescues & a massive funding losses due to COVID-19 (all fundraising events & sanctuary visits cancelled) has left us in a dire situation. It is only with your support that we're able to rescue bears like these two from decades of pain & suffering. Thank you.
Special thanks to the Vietnam's Environmental Police & Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) for their efforts tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

WHERE WILL THE BEARS GO? 

After rescue they'll undergo a month or more of quarantine at our Bear Rescue Centre. These poor old girls look to be in very poor shape and we suspect they've been mutilated for bile extraction for years, so will most likely require extensive vet care. Eventually we hope they'll be healthy enough to graduate from the Bear Rescue Centre to the Bear Sanctuary & enjoy their twilight years in a large forest enclosure with trees, climbing platforms, swimming pools, caves and hammocks, as well as enjoying a healthy diet and enrichment to stimulate their complex minds. We are currently fundraising to build Bear House 4 at our Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary to enable additional rescues of bears from bile farms (we already have plenty of space for Bear House 4, we're just lacking the funds). Please give generously if you can - your donation will be used to help rescue and rehabilitate these beautiful bears.
Please enjoy the video below showing you the forest enclosures at our Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary. As a small non-profit charity, everything we do is thanks to the donations we receive from you, our kind donors. We try to give the rescued bears the best life possible, it's the least we can do to make up for the suffering they've endured. Thank you.