RESCUE UPDATE: Rescued sun bear receives pain-relieving surgery after years in captivity

04 October 2016

Veterinary Surgeon Weng Yan Ng doing health check for Kaffe 7

Sun bear Kaffe, who was rescued from Vietnam’s Dak Lak province earlier this month by Animals Asia, has received his first ever health check to end years of pain.

Vets at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre extracted seven of Kaffe’s teeth many of which were infected with pus visible around the roots.

Kaffe's teeth in poor condition 8

Before his rescue and 1,300km journey to Animals Asia’s sanctuary, Kaffe was kept in a small metal cage for at least nine years. A poor diet is believed to have been the main cause of his chronic tooth decay.

On his journey “home” to the sanctuary, his rescuers noted that Kaffe preferred soft fruits to hard vegetables, a sign that perhaps his teeth were damaged.


A video posted by Animals Asia (@animalsasia) on Sep 14, 2016 at 8:57pm PDT


Thankfully, other results from Kaffe’s health check have left vets confident that he will fully recover from years of abuse to live out the rest of his life pain-free.

Veterinary Surgeon Weng Yan Ng doing ultrasound scan for Kaffe 1

Weng Yan Ng, Animals Asia’s Veterinary Surgeon said:

“Despite the poor condition of his teeth, the health check brought good news for Kaffe. He is recovering well now and will be on pain relief and fed soft foods while his mouth heals. He was perfectly well behaved today, being easily distracted with yummy treats and falling asleep smoothly under anaesthetic.

“He’s a handsome bear, but quite slim. He’s got plenty of spare skin for when he settles in to the sanctuary and begins to increase his weight.”

Veterinary Surgeon Weng Yan Ng doing health check for Kaffe 9

The next stage of Kaffe’s rehabilitation will be to complete a period of quarantine. After that, he will be moved to a larger environment and hopefully integrated with other bears of his species.

Only when Kaffe is mentally ready, will he be able to begin foraging outside on grass for the first time in his life.

Heidi Quine, Animals Asia’s Bear and Vet Team Director Vietnam said:

“Kaffe has barely been with us more than a few weeks but already we’ve been struck by what a sweet and gentle bear he is. Thankfully we’ve been able to stop the pain his teeth would have caused him and have been pleasantly surprised at the positive results in the rest of his health check.

“Now the road to rehabilitation begins for Kaffe. It will be a long journey, but we can’t wait to see him out on the grass where he belongs playing with other bears."

Vets are checking Kaffe's eyesIMG_0696Veterinary Surgeon Weng Yan Ng doing health check for Kaffe 10