Moon bear’s recovery is fruit of compassion

06 February 2015

Nhan Ai enjoys the great outdoors in her enclosure

Rescued moon bear Nhan Ai finally completed her long process of rehabilitation as she stepped out onto the grass of her enclosure at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre.

Her incredible recovery was made possible by a change of heart by her former owner.  Where once he saw only a resource – he looked again and saw an animal who deserved better.

After 14 years of extracting Nhan Ai’s bile, 80-year-old Phan Thanh Dai decided that it was time for her to go free and contacted Animals Asia.

A Buddhist monk was brought to the house to bless Nhan Ai as she began her 1,600km journey to our sanctuary and ultimately, the long road to rehabilitation.

Monk blesses Nhan Ai

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear and Vet Team Director Annemarie Weegenaar said:

“As is common in bears who have spent their entire lives in cages suffering bile extraction, Nhan Ai was very nervous when she first arrived. Her situation is very similar to Ti Map – she’s finding it hard to socialise with other bears and was similarly reluctant to brave the great outdoors.

“Thankfully she’s now outside foraging and enjoying herself. She’s physically a healthy bear, now we just need some of the bears to charm her and show her that bears can be great friends.”

Nhan Ai is excited about tasting a tomato 2

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“Nhan Ai’s story is incredibly important – her former owner chose this future for her – he allowed her to go free and started to atone for the decades of suffering he’d caused. It couldn’t contrast more heavily with the current behaviour of the farmers in Halong Bay who are determined to hang on to animals they see only as assets.  They’ve spurned each chance to do the right thing – seeing the bears only as moneymaking machines.

“It is so, so fitting that Nhan Ai means compassion. From the previous ‘owner’ ready to give her up, to the vet team that rehabilitate her and the keepers who care for her – not to mention supporters willing to donate for her care – it’s compassion that allows bears to be rescued.

Nhan Ai is excited about tasting a tomato 1