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Miomojo Bear House: Welcome to the largest community of rescued moon bears in Vietnam (for now!)

31 May 2019

Moon bears are a solitary species, but in the Miomojo Bear House, 21 individuals live together in a huge community of furry fun.

While in the wild moon bears are generally thought to be solitary, in sanctuary restrictions on space mean bears have to live together.

And in over two decades of caring for rescued bears in sanctuaries in Vietnam and China, Animals Asia have found that companionship between bears is overwhelmingly beneficial to the rehabilitation process.

At Animals Asia’s Vietnam sanctuary, the biggest house is currently home to 21 bears.

Isis

Among the group are many siblings who have strong life-long bonds as well as bears rescued as individuals who have made firm friends in the community.

Now the care of these beautiful bears is being part-funded by Italian fashion designers Miomojo.

This generous support will enable Animals Asia to ensure that all 21 bears in the Miomojo Bear House are happy and healthy.

A key part of care is observing the bears constantly to ensure that relationships are stress-free.

Carers also have to ensure that every individual is kept stimulated physically and mentally on a daily basis.

To do this, their enclosure is filled twice daily with a variety of enrichment items. These can range from specially designed puzzle-feeders to supplies of fresh leaves for nesting and a variety of play items such as tyres, hessian sacks and balls which the bears just love.

Peter Baynes

Animals Asia Bear Manager Amanda Catwell said:

“The bears in the Miomojo Bear House are such a fun group. Every day without fail, they run outside to see who is the fastest and can get to the enrichment the quickest. They are always quick to investigate anything new, and are known for destroying new structures or toys in their enthusiasm.”

“Professionally, it is really rewarding to see them playing so sociably. More often than not, there is not just one bear in the pool or one bear on the platform, there will be a whole group of them all playing and relaxing together.

“And whenever a bear is brought back to the house after a health check, they all come and investigate so sweetly. As a sanctuary bear manager, this is exactly the dynamic we work towards.”

Cintron

The 21 bears in the Miomojo Bear House range from six to 12 years old, making them fairly young as bears can expect to live for up to 30 years.

The house is currently home to eight sets of siblings including Ricky and Joey, Béla and Jenoe, Georges and Baruffa, Taz and Peter Baynes, Nora JamJack and Sunshine, Hector and Emma, Xin Xin and Thomas as well as Cintron and Bradley.

Amanda said:

“The sibling pairs are incredibly fun-loving with most having arrived as cubs, or as very young bears. Nora Jamjack and Sunshine for example were rescued from the mountainous north of Vietnam and travelled back in terrible conditions which led to their initial nicknames of Misty and Rain.

“Now they have both grown into the most adorable sisters and have happy new names to reflect their change in fortunes. Both girls have a sweet innocent look on their face all the time, but don’t be fooled – these two are very cheeky! When all the other bears are coming in for recall, they like to continue playing out in the enclosure making everyone wait. But of course, it’s impossible not to forgive them as soon as you see their beautiful ‘innocent’ faces peering back.”

Nora Jamjack

The remaining five bears in the house – Thao, Faith, Tieu Long, Isis, Birgit – were all rescued as individuals, but have made firm friends in sanctuary.

Amanda said:

“Faith, the oldest in the group at 12 years old, is also considered the grumpiest. She likes her own space and is not as playful as the boisterous boys who share the enclosure with her. But she absolutely loves carrots and will search the whole enclosure for them before moving on to other foodstuffs. When she eats them, she sits cutely on her backside and brings the carrot to her mouth with her front paws and suddenly grumpy Faith is gone, replaced by the happiest, most content bear in the world.”

Thao

Animals Asia Bear and Vet Team Director Heidi Quine said:

“Caring for a group as big as the one in the Miomojo Bear House requires a great deal of expertise and experience. Fortunately, having rescued over 600 bears in Vietnam and China, Animals Asia has greater expertise than any other organisation in the world. And with the much-needed part-funding from Miomojo, we can ensure that our expert teams have all the materials and equipment they need to keep this community of boisterous bears, happy, healthy and stimulated for the rest of their lives.” 

The Miomojo Bear House is part-funded by Miomojo – a responsible fashion company from Italy making gorgeous fashion accessories that don’t harm animals or the environment. 

Faith


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