Brown bear Monday: Meet Iris

31 March 2014


#moonbearmonday is staying on hiatus for one more week as we introduce you to brown bear Iris.

Iris is a Eurasian brown bear rescued from a horrific bear bile farm in Shandong province in April, 2010. She had been through the worst torture imaginable, incarcerated with a “full metal jacket” which held an open fistula to constantly drain the bile out of her gall bladder. To this day, she still bears the scars where the jacket disfigured her body.

Despite her hideous past, Iris is now making the most of life in our Chengdu bear sanctuary. She is one of five brown bears living in the China Bear Rescue Centre and the species is noticeably different from their moon bear cousins as Heidi Quine, Bear Manager at the CBRC explains:

“Of course each brown bear has a distinct personality, just like the moon bears. However, I do think there is a noticeable difference in the behaviour of the brown bears and the moon bears. In general, the moon bears seem far more laid back, perhaps even gentler. Brown bears are also much more solitary. While the moon bears happily share enclosures, the brown bears aren’t so keen – except for sibling Tibetan brown bears Poupouce and Benji. Iris doesn’t dig as much as other brown bears but I have not seen a log that is a match for her claws – she just loves shredding and chewing wood!”

As these pictures and video show, there’s no end to the amount of entertainment a powerful brown bear like Iris can get out of a log.

Happy brown bear Monday everyone!