Rescued sun bear Aurora recovers from health check and makes herself at home

09 January 2019

Just a few weeks on from her rescue, Aurora is in good health and busy exploring the largest space she has ever known.

For sun bear Aurora, the new year has brought with it an entirely new and wonderful life.

Having spent 15 years in a tiny, barren cage as an exotic pet, Aurora was freed by rescuers in December and brought 1,500 kilometres to sanctuary.

In the weeks since, this gentle sun bear has experienced more kindness and enjoyed more natural behaviour than in all the years since she was poached from the wild as a cub.

She has moved to an indoor den to complete her 45-day quarantine period and her new space is packed with enrichment and climbing structures.

Aurora plays with browse in the den

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

“For a bear whose every waking moment has been entirely bereft of stimulation for over a decade, Aurora’s new surroundings must feel palatial. Sun bears love to climb and for the first time in her life, this is something Aurora is free to do. She’s experienced huge changes over the last few weeks, but she is a brave soul and is already very trusting of her new carers.”

Aurora has also received a thorough examination by vets who believe she has a small gallstone and suffers from arthritis. Thankfully, neither condition requires surgery or medication currently and will be monitored closely as future treatment will likely be required.

Another area of concern during her rescue was the state of Aurora’s teeth. Having been fed an unsuitable diet for years, there was a large build-up of tartar which unchecked would cause serious disease and pain. Thankfully, the nutritious and crunchy vegetables and fruit Aurora now enjoys as part of her daily diet have already massively improved her condition.

Heidi said:

“When Aurora got back to her den after the health check she used the straw to build herself a huge comfy nest, just as a sun bear would in the wild. These are exactly the kind of natural behaviours Aurora has been denied all her life, and to see her simply begin to be a bear again fills us with the greatest joy.”

During the remainder of her 45-day quarantine period, Aurora will continue to build her strength, while her carers will work to earn her trust. After quarantine is complete, it is hoped Aurora will  be integrated with some of the other elevensun bears at the sanctuary and will be free to enjoy a large outdoor enclosure.

Aurora is reaching up to the second level