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VIDEO: These four sun bear orphans finally have the family they’ve always wanted

30 November 2016


Each one saw their mother killed by poachers. All were rescued individually from traffickers. Now these sun bears have the chance to be each other’s family.

Sassy, Murphy, Layla and Goldie have a shared tragedy. Each was a young victim of the illegal wildlife trade. They all had the worst start possible in life.

In separate incidents they were all discovered being illegally trafficked through Vietnam, destined for a life on bile farms, circuses or as exotic pets.

Thankfully, all four were spared this fate having been discovered by the authorities and transferred to Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre.

Layla and Goldie kisses

With no safe area for release, and never having learned any survival skills, the bears will spend the rest of their lives at the sanctuary.

But they won’t spend it alone.  They arrived as individuals but were paired up when their carers felt they were ready. Goldie moved in with Murphy and Layla with Sassy. This week their carers felt they were all big and strong enough to face the future together.

Sassy peek a boo with Goldie

Animals Asia’s Bear Manager Kelly Donithan said:

“Everyone at the sanctuary has been eagerly anticipating this integration for a long time and it has been a joy to watch how well they are getting on and enriching each other’s lives.

“Bears, no matter the age, react to new bears differently so any integration has to be carefully managed. We wanted to be especially sure that Murphy, the youngest of the bears, would be safe. Thankfully, all four have been playing happily together as if they’ve known each other forever and we’re all looking forward to watching them spend many happy days together.

“Having a community is incredibly important for the bears. It’s part of their rehabilitation. Playing keeps them fit and active and the social interactions add a whole other dynamic to their lives – plus it allows them to simply have fun and be happy.”

Sassy chilled out

To date Animals Asia has rescued around 600 bears in Vietnam and China, mostly from the bear bile industry. Today, some 300 bears continue to live happily at the NGO’s award-winning sanctuaries in Chengdu, China and Tam Dao, Vietnam.

Goldie and Sassy


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