He was blind, bleeding and caged – now Kujira is free, seeing and smiling

07 November 2016

Moon bear Kujira was blind, bleeding and in pain when rescued by Animals Asia, now he smiles as he watches his bear-mates play on the grass.

When rescued from Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province in 2015, moon bear Kujira had suffered terribly. Of the 13 bears rescued that day, Kujira caused the most concern.

Kujira is found with a scars-covered face and wound bleeding on chest

A wound on his chest was red and raw, causing him to scratch at his own body in frustration. The rescue team noted his constant repetitive actions, a sure sign of mental decline, were some of the most severe they had ever seen.

Kujira's open wound on his chest (2)

Once safely back at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, it became clear why. Kujira was completely blind and probably had been for years. On the farm he would have heard footsteps, the clanging of metal and felt the agony of bile extraction. Every sound and smell could have signalled more suffering.

But now, more than a year later, Kujira is a different bear. Specialist surgery has returned sight to one eye. He can see the sun, the sky and feel the grass beneath his paws.

Kujira smiling 2

He can watch his new bear friends – the first he has ever known – playing together, and can join in whenever he feels ready.


A video posted by Animals Asia (@animalsasia) on Nov 6, 2016 at 8:59pm PST


Animals Asia Bear Manager, Kelly Donithan said:

“Kujira’s journey has been utterly remarkable. He is pain free, he has space to play, he has friends – and he can see. It is hard to believe how much his life has changed.

“His stereotypic behaviour was some of the worst I have ever seen, but is so much better now. Every day we see signs of improvement to his mental health as his body heals. We can never erase Kujira’s awful past, but we’ll work every day to make them increasingly distant memories.”

Kujira smiling 3