Snatched as a cub, this rescued sun bear had trouble making friends but now his new bear family can’t imagine life without him.
When sun bear Kaffe was rescued from life as an exotic pet, he had endured his entire life alone behind bars.
Torn from his family and alone in his cage, he never learned to play with other bears, and had possibly never even seen one since the iron door slammed shut a lifetime ago.
Kaffe was finally rescued in autumn last year in Dak Lak Province and brought to Animals Asia’s sanctuary in Vietnam. Finally he was safe, cared for and loved. But he still had to learn the skills he had never been taught – and making friends proved harder than he expected.
Despite Kaffe’s willingness to play, some of the other sun bears weren’t so impressed by his unusual ways. Old-timer Nelson took exception to Kaffe’s style of wrestling and the rejection left Kaffe unsure of any of his new housemates.
But just weeks on, Kaffe is starting to fit right in. He’s become particularly close with David and the two enjoy gentle wrestles which quickly turn into cuddles in the sun.
Animals Asia Bear Manager Kelly Donithan said:
“Integrating Kaffe with the other adult sun bears was more difficult than we’d hoped. Kaffe and Nelson didn’t get on so well at first which is a sad reminder that Kaffe had probably never seen another of his own kind for longer than he could remember.
“With time and perseverance from both Kaffe and his team of carers, he has become much closer to his new family. He’s particularly bonding with David, but Lamma too is becoming a fast friend.
“We’re all so happy for him. He wanted so much to be everyone’s friend at first that when it didn’t turn out as he’d hoped it was really sad to see how upset he was. Thankfully that’s all in the past and Kaffe finally has the family he’s always wanted.”
Animals Asia has rescued around 600 bears in Vietnam and China, mostly from the bear bile trade. The NGO continues to care for around 300 bears at their two sanctuaries.
Each rescue is a lifetime commitment with Animals Asia taking on the care of each animal for the rest of their lives – typically up to 30 years. If you would like to help care for these rescued bears and give them back some of the years stolen from them by cruelty, sponsor a bear today.