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 Tuesday 6 September, Animals Asia Vietnam Director, Tuan, External Affairs Officer, Dr The and Bear Worker Tuan from the Vietnam Moon Bear Rescue Centre travelled to the central highlands of Vietnam to rescue a lone sun bear.
This young male had been kept by a hotel/resort complex in Pleiku City in Gia Lai Province, for the past six to eight years. The hotel owners received the bear when he was just a cub and believe he may originally have been smuggled from Cambodia.
The hotel decided to give up the bear – now nicknamed “Sonny” – because they felt they could no longer look after him as they had been and they were not prepared to improve his living conditions. Sonny was being kept in a barren, rusting cage placed on a heap of rough ground with little shelter from the elements.
With Bear Worker Tuan in charge, guiding and directing the hotel workers, Sonny was soon moved out of this cage and into a secure transport cage for the 1,300km journey back to the rescue centre at Tam Dao.
Completing the relevant paperwork through government channels delayed the return journey and it was Tuesday evening before the small team set off, with Tuan taking care of Sonny on the road home.
On initial inspection, Sonny appears to be in good health but the vet team will need to follow up with a full physical to establish whether or not he has had bile extracted.
Sonny arrived safely at the rescue centre on Thursday afternoon to be welcomed by the vet and bear teams and moved into quarantine. He is doing well and has settled in quite easily, enjoying the enrichment items placed in his recovery cage to keep him busy and stimulated. He wrestles with logs and loves the browse (fresh grass and leaves) delivered to him on a daily basis.
We are glad to report that he is eating well, clearly liking sweet potato and Thai melon in particular. We look forward to the day he can move into a spacious den, with a view to being integrated with our small family of “Sunnies” already on-site.