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Sanctuary life captured in this classic shot of four rescued bear pals

25 March 2016

Four rescued bear pals play with each other on the platform at VBRC

Taken at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre – these four bear friends appear to have something very serious to discuss.

(Pictured above and below - clockwise from top are Taz, Tieu Long, Jenoe, Nora JamJack).

The shot was taken by Education Officer Hoa Vu. Taz might be taking the high ground but pal Nora JamJack looks keen to tell him some home truths.

Meanwhile Tieu Long and Jenoe look on – seemingly ready to offer moral support.

While Taz might be trying to claim seniority, Jenoe has been the longest serving at the sanctuary. Rescued at five months of age, he’s spent his life at the rescue centre and seen many more bears subsequently arrive.

Taz was rescued a year later – at the time he was so stressed he was already showing stereotypic behaviour, normally a sign of distress mostly seen in older bears.

Tieu Long’s rescue followed in 2012 with Nora JamJack arriving the following year. It’s likely that Nora JamJack and sister Rain were both headed over the Chinese border when their captors were apprehended.

Without the vigilance of the Forestry Protection Department it’s likely all would have ended up in bile farms.

Bear and Vet Team Director Annemarie said:

“The bears love the platform for socialising and for climbing to get a great view of the sanctuary. It’s fantastic to see them against the green of the surrounding national park. And although Taz is showing slight displeasure about Nora JamJack trying to join him on the top level of the platform, all is soon forgotten and another round of playful wrestling will commence.

“These bears have a great deal in common and it’s no accident they’re housed together. All were trafficked as cubs and all have grown up with us. They’ve had a lot to overcome having lost their mothers at an early age but they are physically healthy bears having been rescued before they could be sold to bile farms. They’ve plenty of energy to burn everyday and the enclosure is built with that in mind.”

In Vietnam and China, Animals Asia has rescued almost 600 bears from the bear bile industry. Just under 150 live at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre.

There remains over 10,000 bears in bile farm cages in China and around 1,200 in Vietnam. Their bile is extracted for use in traditional medicine.

Four rescued bear pals play with each other on the platform at VBRC