Brown bear Monday – Beautiful Benji

25 March 2014


Meet the very beautiful Benji, a Tibetan brown bear living at Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Center.

Benji was discovered in July 2005, living in a bear pit with his sister Poupouce in a monastery in Litang, Sichuan province on the border with Tibet. The siblings were being cared for by a group of caring Tibetan monks whose conscience compelled them to save the animals from being taken to a nearby bile farm.

However when the pair got bigger they realised these two beautiful brownies needed a better home and we were delighted to help.

One of the noticeable differences between brown bears and moon bears is their lack of inclination to climb. While moon bears are excellent climbers well adapted for tree life, brown bears are diggers. They are capable of excavating quite impressive holes and Benji is one of the best. He loves making deep depressions in the soil of his enclosure as he reckons these are the perfect spot for a nap.

Noticing Benji's love of digging the bear team got him what seemed the perfect present – a sandpit. Unfortunately, Benji had other ideas and for whatever reason he’s never taken a shine to it, usually preferring to tear through clods of earth instead.

Heidi Quine, Bear Manager at Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre said:

“We now have five brown bears in our Chengdu sanctuary, Tibetan brown bear siblings Benji and Poupouce, and Eurasian brown bears Caesar, Iris and Oliver. Brown bears are generally larger than moon bears and are incredibly powerful and majestic animals to see up close. Their coats, like Benji’s, often have a variety of different shades that are just gorgeous to look at. But being bigger, brown bears also require a specially designed enrichment programme which includes items such as fresh and dried fish and whole coconuts.”

Well, they do say that variety is the spice of life – where would we be without it?

Happy brown bear Monday everyone!

Tibetan brown bear Benji is ready for his close-up