Two young moon bears have arrived safely at the China Bear Rescue Centre, after a long trip from the mountainous region of Yibin county. The pair were recently confiscated by the Sichuan Forestry Department from local villagers, who found them in the wild nearly two years ago.
Now nicknamed Rudolph and Holly, these young bears are quickly settling into the rehabilitation area and getting their first taste of the sweet life at the rescue centre.
They are believed to be under two years old and appear to be in fairly good health, with no obvious ailments and weighing in around 70–80kg. The villagers have taken good care of these two little bears, keeping them healthy and safe, as unique companions. However, as the small cubs grew bigger, so too did the realisation that providing for them would be difficult, and the villagers began to look for a new home for the bears.
It is believed that they were approached by potential buyers who may have intended using the bears for bile extraction, and the villagers agreed instead to work with Sichuan Forestry to find another solution. Subsequently, these two lovely youngsters were handed over and arrangements made to deliver them to our rescue centre in Chengdu.
Friday 7 December 2012: After a long drive from Yinbin, Rudolph and Holly were understandably wary and nervous on arrival at the rescue centre. Once removed from the truck, the bear management team quickly treated them to fresh fruit and tasty strawberry sauce to sooth and settle them. The team carefully handled the bears and coaxed them into their transport cages where they will rest during their early quarantine period, building up their strength and learning to trust their carers.
While they are in separate cages at the moment they are side by side and remain close to each other. After their health checks later this week they will be able to enjoy their remaining quarantine time together again, in “big bear” dens in the Rehabilitation Area before being fully integrated into the sanctuary.
Rudolph is the braver of the two and despite eating heartily of all things sweet tasting, is a bit of a picky eater at the moment. Holly is a more nervous and cautious individual, but despite this, is also eating well and accepting everything on offer.
The fate of these young bears has been changed forever thanks to the action of the Sichuan Forestry Department in helping the villagers find them a safe haven and secure their futures. Thank to them, Rudolph and Holly can now settle down at night into soft, warm nests made with straw and browse, safe, secure and no longer at risk.
“Providing a home for these two bears is the perfect Christmas present for Animals Asia, our supporters around the world, and for the bears themselves. We offer our heartfelt thanks to the Sichuan Forestry Department, and to the villagers that agreed to hand over the bears. We’re looking forward to getting to know our new family members over the coming weeks.”