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Introducing ..... 'Tiger' the cub!

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, we received the most beautiful message from Bear Manager Belinda in Vietnam... announcing the news that one of our new arrivals, Italia, had given birth to a little male cub. As Belinda explains:

"He was born during the night last night (Italia is his mom), and found very cold and crying this morning (Sat, 13 Feb). I warmed him up, and then a little later offered him some milk formula, which he happily accepted. What a relief.

He has continued to eat well throughout the day, and poos, wees, and fusses just like a baby should. He has a few injuries, most notably that his ears were bitten off, but everything has been cleaned up, and is expected to heal well."

Kirsty (below left), Belinda (right) and team are now looking after the little cub literally around the clock. Not surprisingly, given that he was born at the start of the Lunar New Year, our new cub is now called "Tiger".

Mum is also doing well, curled up in a nest of straw and eating the treats offered. As a new mother, and with limited space in the recovery cage, it seems that Italia possibly accidentally nipped off her cub's ears while trying to give birth. Also, as a wild-caught bear, then caged, farmed and finally recently rescued into a new safe, but strange, environment - and considering she is a first-time mum and lack of appropriate rearing area, the little cub will be hand-reared away from his mother.

Little Tiger is most definitely not home and dry by a long chalk - but if our Vietnam team's previous cub-rearing skills are anything to go by, he most certainly has the very best chance.

Now we also know that the bear farmer was lying about how long he had kept her (according to the Taiwanese owner, the bears had been kept for six to seven years in concrete cells at the Binh Duong city headquarters of his company before being housed in separate compartments in cargo containers). 

Clearly she has been recently wild-caught, which also explains her preference for leaves and "browse" when offered food, and her pregnancy now explains her somewhat unusual behaviour after arriving with us from the farm.

Keep the prayers coming - Tiger still has a long way to go, but is fighting for survival in the true style of his namesake.

For more, please see our Rescue Diary.

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