What gift do you give bears that break everything?

29 September 2015

Nora JamJack plays with a new ball (8)

Rescued from bile farms after years of physical abuse and mind-numbing tedium in a tiny cage – these bears need games to keep their minds and bodies active.

But any normal toys wouldn’t last five minutes with these big guys.

For the bears rescued by Animals Asia, the most recent answer to this ongoing challenge are Boomer Balls – zoo-grade toys made for the most robust of animals.

This shipment is thanks to Dr Roger Mugford, who donated 216 of these nearly indestructible non-toxic plastic balls. The bears can go to town with their claws – while the scratches are evident, the toys stay in one piece.

Bubu plays with a new ball (1)

Dr Mugford is the founder of Company of Animals, which sells products for animals of all sizes, as well as the Training and Behaviour Centre in Surrey, UK.

When the bears took delivery of these incredible gifts at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, moon bear Nora Jamjack tried to balance on a ball while Bubu pawed at one, getting flummoxed when it kept turning over. Mausi kept biting the side of her ball, as if it were a big chestnut that would crack open with just a little more effort.

Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson said:

“It’s great to know that wonderful people like Roger are looking out for our bears – not just thinking about their physical well-being, but also the bears’ quality of life. Roger and his team are absolute honeys for being so generous and for promoting the impact that toys can have on our bears’ physical and psychological health. This is Animals Asia’s mission – not only to save the lives of bears, but also to give them the lives they deserve. When these bears are having fun, it feels like they’re a million miles away from the bile cages they were rescued from, and again we couldn’t be more grateful to Roger and all at Company of Animals.”

Also enjoying a consignment of Boomer Balls are the bears at the Nanning bear farm that Animals Asia took over last year. These toys have been so popular in Nanning that the bears have actually figured out how to chew holes in some of them! With the bear farm still closed and the bears health-checked and improving by the day, the aim is to keep them happy, active and occupied while Animals Asia secures their future.

Nora JamJack plays with a new ball (6)Mausi plays with a new ballBears are excited about playing with a new ball (1)Nora JamJack plays with a new ball (4)

Bears are excited about playing with a new ball (2)