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).
On 15th May, a team from the Moon Bear Rescue Centre, Tam Dao, Vietnam successfully rescued and brought home a single bear, who had languished for years in the backyard of a private household.
The young, male bear - nicknamed "Trung Hau" (kind and gentle) by team-member Nguyen - underwent a brief health-check at the rescue site and was calm and composed on the 10-hour journey back to the rescue centre from Vinh City, Nghe An province.
According to the owner, he purchased the bear as a 7kg cub in 2002 and admitted extracting bile intermittently for his own use. Trung Hau is micro-chipped and registered, and the owner had decided to hand him over voluntarily due to his own increasing age and difficulty caring for the bear as well as a recognition that it is becoming no longer acceptable to keep wildlife.
Trung Hau was kept along with a variety of poultry in an area behind the family home, in a small cage inside a dark, dank shed. He had to be anaesthetised to remove him from the cage and the vet team took the opportunity to perform a brief health-check. Trung Hau is very thin, and has stained teeth and thickened pads. He also has some significant scarring in the groin area, where he was apparently attacked by a dog when he was younger. The scarring has contracted the skin and possibly underlying muscle of this area of both his hind legs, making it difficult for him to fully straighten his left leg, and impossible for him to straighten his right leg.
Trung Hau recovered from the anaesthetic smoothly, and coped surprisingly well with the long journey back to Tam Dao. He was one of the most relaxed bears we have had on such a journey, and his calm demeanour inspired his new nickname.
Trung Hau will need to spend some time in quarantine as the first step in his rehabilitation, but will soon be ready for release into a spacious den, and integration with other bears in our outdoor enclosures. His lonely life in a dark shed are over for good.
Alert but calm, Trung Hau settles down with some comforting food and grasses for the journey to his new home.