years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Animals Asia was recently asked to step in and recover Long Chau, a young bear originally confiscated in 2004. On 23 June 2011, after seven years in the care of a government-run company, this male moon bear, weighing in at around 110kg, was rescued from Lai Chau Province by Dr The, our External Affairs Officer, and Phu, Bear Team Leader.
Long Chau was confiscated from an illegal owner by Lai Chau Forest Protection Department (FPD) in May 2004, when he was just a tiny 3.5kg cub. Because there was no available rescue centre at the time, he was transferred to Lai Chau Urban Environmental Company (a government company providing waste removal and environmental services). We were asked by Central FPD to rescue Long Chau after the company advised that it could no longer look after the bear.
All went well with the rescue early on Thursday morning and the team got back to the rescue centre on the same day, after a long 10-hour drive.
Since his arrival a week ago, Long Chau is doing well – he was understandably quite stressed when he first arrived, but is now beginning to settle down in his new environment. He is quite a thin bear and ate very little for the first few days, but as he has become more relaxed he has also started eating more and more of his diet.
Health-wise – the vet team has not performed a health check on him yet, but hope to do this in a few weeks' time. On visual examination however, the team reports that it is clear Long Chau has a problem with his left eye. There are concerns that that this might be causing him some discomfort, so he has been started on pain killers, which he will be on until his health check is carried out.
Long Chau is quickly becoming a playful bear who likes his toys and the fresh, green browse delivered daily to his recovery cage. Like most moon bears, he loves water and has become a big fan of showers, regularly provided by his new carers, the bear management team. His appetite is growing, while his stress and fear, very obvious on arrival, are rapidly decreasing and he is now very calm when there are people around.
Long Chau will continue to be monitored closely during his quarantine period, and all being well, will soon be ready for the next step on the road to rehabilitation, transfer to a roomy den and release from a cage forever.