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).
Two cubs rescued in Vietnam, near the Chinese border
Following news that two moon bears cubs had been confiscated in Lai
Chau Province in northern Vietnam, an Animals Asia team made the 450km
trip from Hanoi arriving late at night. The next morning they met with
the Forestry Protection Department to arrange the handover of the two
The cubs were confiscated from traffickers in the Ban Lang Village,
Phong Tho District, near the Chinese border, and handed over to Lai
Chau Forest Protection Department. It is likely that they would have
been sold to a bile farm.
To follow the rescue step-by-step see our timeline below. Start at the bottom and scroll upwards to read about it as it happened.
Arrived! We had expected them much later but presumably they
must have had a very early start. Pictures coming through now as
Misty and Rain are introduced to their new home at our sanctuary in Tam
Dao. More updates on the cubs next week but it's great to see
everyone back safely and fantastic to see these two out and exploring.
We're told they're becoming more playful and less nervous by the
minute. Much more on Misty and Rain and their rescue next week.
12 April 2013 14.00
This picture reaches us from the road as the team stops so Peta, from our vet team, can feed the cubs. The cubs require four-hourly feeds and we know
they'd been a little fussy overnight so we imagine they're especially
hungry. Misty and Rain and the rescue team should reach their new home
at our sanctuary in Tam Dao this evening.
12 April 2013 6.43
Absolute silence from the team last night despite our best
efforts to contact them. Just as we started to worry we received a
message saying both 3G and wifi had failed them so they had been
unable to share further updates. Presumably the message means they've
had an early start and they've now moved from the 3G blackhole. Not
much else to report, the cubs haven't been too co-operative in
drinking their milk but they seem fine and as "naughty and playful" as
moon bear cubs should be. We're guessing the weather leaves a little
to be desired as the team have decided to call the cubs Misty and
Rain. Great names. More info promised when the team can get it to us.
11 April 2013 16.40
Vietnam director Tuan and Peta from Animals Asia’s vet team with Lai Chau officials
Tomorrow the cubs and the team will travel the bumpy road back to our
Tam Dao sanctuary. Last time the trip took 12 hours with the cubs
needing feeding four times a day and with the quality of the road
meaning regular breaks were necessary.
On that occasion, there was another reason for delay – an altogether
positive one. We wrote:
“The rescue team was stopped four times either by the police or local
FPD, after reports by locals who saw the cubs on the road. This is an
encouraging situation, with people taking action to protect wildlife
that they think may be in danger.”
A positive change that means the trafficking of these cubs, such as
these two, will increasingly not be tolerated by neither public nor
authorities. These cubs have had a hard start to life but they will
never know the horror of a bear bile farm.
We’re hopeful of receiving more pics, videos and information this
evening once the team has a chance to return to their hotel ahead of
the long drive and we’ll share those with you tomorrow. We’ll also be
following their progress as they head back to the Tam Dao sanctuary.
11 April 2013 13.30
We've received a couple of short smart phone movies of the cubs
which we've spliced together here. The first appears to be the cubs in the
cage they've been staying in with the FPD and then in a travel cage.
11 April 2013 10.50
The team are calling this the Lai Chau April Rescue – we’re awaiting cub names.
11 April 2013 10.45
More info from Trinh. Apparently these are two girls. One is
3.8kg and a little quiet and nervous but lovely fur and a full moon
bear crescent. The other is 3.65kg and is a little more playful.
11 April 2013 10.27
Lovely news from Animals Asia Communications Officer Trinh who
emails: “We met the two cubs. They have been cared for very carefully
by the FPD. Peta (part of the Animals Asia vet team from our Tam Dao sanctuary) said that
they are an appropriate weight. They look healthy, and have lovely
fluffy fur. The FPD has taken exceptionally good care of them. They have
been fed with milk every two hours."
First pic has arrived from Ngoc, our communications assistant at