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Welcome to the family David

Who could resist him? Laid out on our surgery table today in Vietnam with our brilliant vet team momentarily forgetting their serious faces and clucking around him like foster mums, David slept in total oblivion, breathing rhythmically and strongly as he received his first health-check ever.

Brown-black fur as soft as velvet and the sweetest sun-shaped crescent, which has earned him and his kin the name of sun bear, David is perfection itself.

Slightly on the chubby side as a result of a poor diet on the farm from where he originated, and weighing in at a chunky 64kgs David could be mistaken for a largish rottweiler – with wrinkles! Moon bear he is not.

Originally hailing from Nghe An Province, where he was confiscated from a bear farm along with one other sun bear and two moon bears between May and July this year, David was then transferred to a cage in a national park until our Vietnam Director Tuan was called and asked if we could help. No question there - and after hours of a long and bumpy ride home, David was finally with the team at the sanctuary, safe and sound at last.

Vet Jen estimated him to be around 3.5 to 4.5 years of age - and in good health apart from a decayed pre-molar which needed to be removed and longish claws that needed clipping. A routine castration (of course we love cubs, but with so many bears needing our help and our resources limited, it wouldn't be fair to encourage breeding) and David was soon dozing on banana leaves and sleeping off the anaesthetic. Just a couple of hours later he was happily munching on a frozen icepop.

David is named after David Kerr – a journalist, supporter of Animals Asia and long-time resident of Lamma Island, Hong Kong – who died last year. On David’s death, his sister Barbara made a very generous donation to our bear rescue project, so we offered to name one of our new arrivals “David”.

When this latest group of bears arrived, we knew we had our “David” – this lovely sun bear had the same gentle nature and laid-back personality of his namesake. Time will tell if he also shares his namesake’s quirky sense of humour and laconic wit!

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