Vietnamese wildlife campaigner Thu Minh visited Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre recently in a bid to highlight the illegality of Vietnam’s bear bile industry.
Already a well-known singer in the country, Thu Minh recently became a key figure in international efforts to raise awareness about wildlife protection in Asia.
As part of United for Wildlife, the celebrity singer stood side by side with England’s Prince William, footballer David Beckham and Tennis player Andy Murray to oppose the poaching of African rhinos for the Vietnamese market.
At VBRC, the singer was greeted by Bear and Vet Team Director Annemarie Weegenaar who guided Thu Minh round the sanctuary.
Together they helped to set up one of the bear enclosures by scattering food and smears to encourage the bears’ natural instinct to forage.
During her visit to the sanctuary’s education centre, Thu Minh was reduced to tears at images of bears brutally having their bile extracted.
Before leaving, Thu Minh took a moment to record the following heartfelt message in the visitor book:
“If we can be indifferent while bears are tortured and living every day in pain, what will become of the love in our hearts, our goodwill and the kindness between people?”
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:
“It was wonderful that Thu Minh was able to visit our Vietnam sanctuary. She has a very high profile here in Vietnam and is absolutely committed to helping her country improve its role and intelligence surrounding wildlife related crime. The efforts of celebrities like her can be vital in raising awareness and helping to stem the wildlife trade.”
Thu Minh’s visit was widely covered in Vietnam with 60 online media outlets reporting on the event, while her trip was broadcast on television station VTV2.
Animals Asia hopes to continue working with Thu Minh in the future, as part of efforts to galvanise opposition to the illegal bear bile industry in Vietnam.