Just recently we rescued four new bears from Nghe An province, Vietnam – two sun bears and two moon bears, and told you about the rescue and trip home to our centre in Tam Dao National Park. Now that we’ve had time to observe the bears, it’s time to continue the story and introduce them more fully.
On arrival, the bears were unloaded and put in a shady area to relax, drink some water and eat some fruit. After they had all recovered from the journey, they were transferred into our new giant recovery cages where they can be constantly assessed and where they will stay for the duration of their 45 -day quarantine period.
The female sun bear is now nicknamed “Summer”. She is quite a mellow bear but tends to get a bit nervous and pace when people are around. She does however, relax quite quickly again when they move away. We are confident that with time and TLC, Summer will learn to relax and come to realize that only good things happen when her carers are around.
Her fellow sun bear is called “David” and is incredibly chilled out. He yawns a lot showing us his exceedingly long tongue, and spends the rest of his time “chatting” with Summer through a series of loud clucking noises. This bear is already right at home in his new surroundings.
Sun bear David looks out from his recovery cage.
The large male moon bear is now known as “Merlin”. He’s about 2-3 years old with very long legs. He’s quite thin at the moment and looks like he’s lost a fair bit of weight recently. At the moment, he is fairly stereotypic and paces his cage. He is a water-baby though and loves splashing in his water bowl and getting showered with the hose, so we’re hopeful that once moved to a spacious den with enrichment, swimming pool and toys, he will soon lose his stereotypic ways.
The other smaller moon bear is a young juvenile about 1½ years old and unfortunately, it looks like he will take the longest to settle in. He is still very scared and is constantly wary, rumbling warnings at passers-by all the time. If he gets startled, he will jump at the bars and roar in fear. As such he had been nicknamed “Storm” by our bear team but has now been officially named “Jarvis”.
Our young moon bear Jarvis, remains on the alert.
In general, all four bears are settling in well and enjoying the new things in life - fresh browse, straw for nesting and enrichment. They all love banana leaves and, although it is going to take some time before Jarvis becomes comfortable, we may have found a way to his poor, frightened heart through something he absolutely adores - frozen oranges!
Home at last: after a 6 hour journey, the bears are left to rest before being settled into their new home.
The bears are transferred from the truck to the quarantine area.
Summer gets to grips with the transport cage while being transferred to quarantine.
Moon bear Marvin looks ahead as he is transferred into the centre.