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Two new bundles of joy in Vietnam

The wheels continue to grind frustratingly slowly in Vietnam. Eighty bears currently held illegally on farms in Ha Long Bay and originally slated for rescue into our care are now entwined in a complicated mess of Government intervention and delays.

This has all come about from a decision by the Central Government, which has recently decentralised wildlife enforcement, and given authority to the provinces to deal with violations of the laws.

The fact is that they are now going against the country’s own legislation and, for that reason, Animals Asia is determined to see justice for these 80 bears and so many others held illegally on farms across the country. We are not without powerful allies in our fight - and enjoy the support of National Assembly legislators, the media, other non-government groups, wildlife associations and legal experts.

The full update behind the original discovery of these bears in September 2007 to their plight today can be found in our fact sheet here:

There is, however some positive news. Following the relentless efforts of our own Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen, it seems we have a breakthrough that is seeing the Government now keen to come back to the table and talk through new options with Animals Asia. Tuan and I are due to meet with the officials soon and, although this may take a few weeks to sort through, we will not give up on these 80 farmed bears and remain hopeful that we will eventually see them at our rescue centre in Tam Dao.

Meanwhile, we now have a family of 13 bears on site on the buffer zone of beautiful Tam Dao National Park - all doing wonderfully well.

Cubs Mara, Mausi and Olly rescued last year weighing in at 2kgs each are now topping the 50kg mark! Still adorable and now gloriously resembling bears in miniature (“mini moon bears”!), their health and characters are flourishing. It has to be said however, that they think they run the sanctuary - if not the country of Vietnam - and in fact they pretty much do have our fabulous staff wrapped around their paws! They were later joined by another cub, Mischa, and then Marmite, who both fitted in well with them, making quite a gang.

More good news - we now have two more tiny cubs, nicknamed Snippy and Goblin, weighing in at 5.8kgs and 6.5kgs respectively.

Here's Snippy on the left and Goblin on the right enjoying some fresh leaves:


They were confiscated from a bear farm on 24 June. Once again our fabulous vet nurses, Candice and Fiona are running ragged looking after them, but of course loving every minute.

Here's little Snippy with his favourite toy:

And Goblin, looking oh so cute!

And another one of Snippy:

We’ll do a full summary on these babies soon as they continue to recover from their horrible ordeal of wild capture and the terror of life on a farm.


Luckily, adults Miracle, Marvin, Lexi and Little Jane are all settling in well. Miracle has earned her name well – having narrowly escaped slaughter after the bear farm where she was caged closed down and the farmer was fattening her up to sell as meat. A sweetheart of a bear, she is still very much a chunky monkey and remains on a slow and steady diet to reduce her weight back down to that of a normal bear.

Now safe and sound all of these lucky bears are seeing quite a different destiny to that intended – happy, well fed and enriched and never to wake again with fear in their hearts.

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