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Miomojo Cub House: meet the orphaned bears growing up with unconditional love

20 April 2018

Saved from poachers as cubs or rescued from the bile trade, these five young bears have found family and friendship in each other.

When bears are poached from the wild, it is a tragedy on many levels.

Most likely the mother bear will be killed so that her defenceless cubs can be snatched.

Stolen from a life in the wild, these cubs will go on to endure a lifetime of suffering either as an exotic “pet” or as “stock” on a bear bile farm.

Either way, they will never again play with their siblings, they will never be taught by their mother how to survive in the wild, and they will never enjoy the simple bear pleasures of roaming the forests or sleeping under the stars.

For the lucky few rescued from this dire fate, daily care is required for the rest of their lives.

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre has emerged as the most experienced facility in the country for raising rescued bear cubs.

The sanctuary has an area dedicated to cub care known as the Miomojo Cub House, named after the fashion company which is part-funding the young bears’ care.

Miomojo’s generous funding will pay for enrichment structures, health care, food, toys and daily care as well as vital repairs and maintenance of the enclosure.

The five bears in the Miomojo Cub House aren’t cubs anymore, ranging from three to nine years-old, but from Murphy learning to walk to Annemarie learning how to trust and be a bear again, they have been on an amazing journey together.


Murphy w logo 1

Murphy was rescued so young that he had to learn to walk in the sanctuary. Since his arrival in 2015 as a frail little cub weighing just 3.7kg, he has grown into a robust young male full of boundless energy and enthusiasm.

As a cub, Murphy had to be hand-reared by his carers to help alleviate stress and as a result has a very strong bond with many of his human friends.

He loves to play with anything and everything – and everyone.


Goldie w logo 1

When he was rescued from poachers in 2015, poor Goldie weighed less than 12kg. Only a few months old, this little bear was tiny, fragile and desperately afraid.

But over time he came to trust his new carers and learned that nobody would hurt him ever again.

Today, Goldie is a cool, calm, collected bear who loves to play. His favourite toys are hessian sacks, which he waves around his head while rolling on his back.

His best play pals are Layla and Murphy, and all three can be seen wrestling and running around the enclosure with each other.


Layla w logo 1

At five years-old, Layla is the “middle child” of the Miomojo Cub House and the most curious of the group.

Nobody can walk past the enclosure without a little Layla-shaped shadow following them and when a drone flew over the sanctuary earlier this year, Layla was the first to climb up to the highest point of the enclosure to investigate what was happening.

She loves nothing more than spending time with best pals Murphy and Goldie who she knows are always ready and willing to play with toys or have a wrestle in the enclosure.


Sassy w logo 1

Poor Sassy was very nervous when she first arrived at the sanctuary back in 2010 to such a degree that she was never comfortable living with other bears her own age and size.

But when little Layla arrived, the team realised a younger bear could be unthreatening enough for Sassy, and they were absolutely right.

Since making friends with Layla, Sassy has learned to trust all the bears in the Miomojo Cub House and is now a happy member of the “gang”.


Annemarie w logo 1

When Annemarie arrived at the sanctuary in 2016, she was an incredibly nervous adult bear. For years she couldn’t find the courage to go outside or spend time with other bears her own age, and her carers were kept awake at night wondering how they could reassure her she was finally safe.

Thankfully, hard work has paid off and Annemarie has realised she is braver than she ever knew.

Now Annemarie loves to climb, and can be found clumsily working on her new skill out in the enclosure.

She’s grown close to youngsters Murphy, Goldie and Layla, and has even become relaxed enough to enjoy gently wrestling on the grass with her new forever friends.

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