Making food fun at Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre

19 October 2015

This #MoonBearMonday we’re honouring the carers behind the bears that work so hard to make their lives pretty much perfect.

We love our bears, and we know you do too, which is why here at Animals Asia we are totally committed to doing everything we can to make their lives fun and comfortable.

And they so deserve it. After years – and in some cases, decades – spent in tiny metal cages, our bear rescue centres are a veritable paradise for them, with space to lounge about, structures to climb and play on, and pools for a hot day when only a dip will do.

Maggie enjoys foraging in her enclosure, VBRC (1)

It’s this commitment to comfort that made us want to share some special moments that show just how far our bear workers go for the bears. When it comes to feeding time, you might think it was as easy as backing up a food truck and shovelling out the contents.

But as these behind-the-scenes videos show, we go one step further. Indeed - WE MAKE FOOD FUN!

As well as the more regular method of feeding – placing food inside their dens in the bear house – we also take great care to simulate the conditions bears would experience in the wild, which means giving them opportunities to forage just like they would naturally.

Annemarie Weegenar, Bear and Vet Team Director at our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, explained more:

“Preparing the food is just the start of it. With the bears safely tucked up inside their houses, our bear workers then take a cart into the enclosure and set about placing fruit and vegetables in strategic, and sometimes secret, places to ensure the bears get some exercise and do what they do best – follow their noses to find the snacks.

“Food is placed high and low, far and away, sometimes within easy reach, sometimes requiring a stretch or a climb. It all helps simulate the natural environment, and it’s as much of a joy for our bears to sniff food out as it is for us to watch them do so.”

Whether it’s an apple in an aperture, a tomato in a tyre, or a carrot in a corner – the team do everything possible to ensure the bears have to crouch, clamber and climb to locate their lunch. Not so much singing for their supper as foraging for their food.

It’s just one of many ways in which we are dedicated to keeping bears stimulated and ensuring they get the exercise they need to stay healthy.

So next time you pack a banana in your briefcase or a sandwich in your satchel, allow yourself a wry smile as you imagine what fun our bears would have trying to get their paws on that!

Suki and a puzzle-feeder