These rescued bear cubs lost mothers – but found a family

29 February 2016

When Goldie and Murphy were rescued last year, each had come from an unbelievably traumatic experience – the loss of their mothers.

The two young sun bears were destined to meet at Animals Asia’s Vietnam sanctuary, but their meeting took months to finally happen.

When Murphy was rescued in July 2015, he was only six weeks old. He had to be nurtured by Animals Asia’s bear workers, who gave him the protection and comfort he should have received from his mother – especially before meeting such a rambunctious young bear as Goldie.

Goldie – who joined the Vietnam sanctuary in April 2015 – was rescued at the age of six months. The sun bear cub was quite traumatised and scared when he arrived, and needed months to adjust to his safe and comfortable new life.

At long last the two were finally put in the same den. After sniffing around each other and playing with one another’s toys – they started to act like old friends, and haven’t stopped since.

Goldie and Murphy are two of the nearly 600 bears Animals Asia has rescued from the bear bile industry in China and Vietnam. In Animals Asia’s sanctuaries, they have a chance to express their natural behaviours – unlike bears still in bile farms.

Bear Manager Kelly Donithan said:

“Watching these cubs grow up over many months without a companion has been challenging as they are incredibly energetic and playful. Even with what we provide them as their caregivers – we know there is no replacement for having another bear to wrestle with, investigate enrichment alongside and rest next to. After weeks of positive interactions with each other as neighbors, it was a joyful moment to finally open the door between them.

“After a surprised sniff, they were initially distracted with each other’s toys before beginning a marathon of playing, chasing and wrestling until they had to crash for a nap… and then woke up for more playing of course! It was a tremendous gift to witness these boys finally interacting and behaving as all little sun bear cubs should be able to.”

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