Rescued Cubs Misty and Rain settle into Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre

30 April 2013

Two moon bear cubs confiscated from traffickers in Lai Chau, Vietnam near the Chinese border, are now settling into Animals Asia’s sanctuary in Tam Dao.

The cubs, named Misty and Rain by Animals Asia after the weather conditions during their rescue, were handed over by the Forest Protection Department (FPD). The traffickers, who had claimed to have found the two cubs in the forest before being offered US$2,000 for them by a middleman, had been apprehended by the Environmental Police who discovered the cubs in their backpack.

Ahead of the rescue there had been some concerns regarding the health of the cubs however, Vet Nurse Peta Moore found them to be well taken care of and praised the FPD for their assistance.

She said:

“I could immediately tell that they seemed to be in fairly good condition. The FPD had followed our feeding instructions and they were being bottle fed five times a day on human infant formula. Initial health checks confirmed they were in good health, with good fur growth and body condition, weighing 3.64 and 3.85kg each.”

With Lai Chau 450km north west of Hanoi on a very bumpy road, the journey was at times difficult. The Mu Chang Cai mountain pass is especially treacherous, with landslides and hazardous fog a regular feature. With visibility severely limited the team were grateful to local officials who alerted them just in time to a landslide ahead and guided them through safely.

Following the rescue, Animals Asia Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:

“We are indebted to the Lai Chau FPD and Police for apprehending the traffickers, rescuing the cubs, alerting Animals Asia and taking such good care of Misty and Rain until we arrived.

“If the cubs had not been found by the Police then undoubtedly they would both have spent their lives on bile farms which is unthinkable.”

Having returned safe and sound to the sanctuary, The cubs have already become big favourites with the staff. These are the first rescued bears to be welcomed since the future of the sanctuary was safeguarded following the threat of eviction in late 2012.

Bear and Vet Team Director Annemarie Weegenaar added:

“The two girls have adjusted very well to life at the centre. They are both very curious, playful and healthy cubs who are now fed milk four times a day. They will be accommodated at our specially built cub house where we have facilities to suit their needs as they continue to grow. Eventually they will be integrated with the other bears at the sanctuary.”