Tay Ninh: 50kg sun bear rescued after 15 years in captive

Tuesday, 2018-12-11 11:08:45
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Aurora has been rescued after 15 years in captive. (Photo by Animals Asia)
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NDO – A 50kg sun bear was rescued in Tan Bien district in the southern province of Tay Ninh on December 10, after almost 15 years being kept in her cage, announced the Animals Asia.

The Animals Asia Vietnam rescue team, who carried out the mission, learned about the lone female sun bear – named Aurora – from a traditional medicine practitioner based in Tay Ninh, who has been working for the last four years on promoting herbal alternatives to bear bile. He alerted the team to the plight of the bear in seeking for better care for her.

The bear was kept in a remote area on the Vietnam-Cambodia border for years. According to the bear’s owners, Aurora had been there about 15 years, since she was a cub, as a pet. Tay Ninh Forest Protection Department said that she is the last captive bear in the province. Fortunately, the bear raising unit and the department have created the best conditions for the smooth delivery of Aurora, in accordance with the current regulations.

Aurora has been isolated in her cage for years. (Photo by Animals Asia)

Dr. Tuan Bendixsen, Director of Animals Asia Vietnam, said that his foundation has conducted communication campaigns against bear bile use in Tay Ninh over the last four years, and that traditional medicine practitioners informing the rescue team about the case has proved the effectiveness of the community-based propaganda to protect bears. The physicians may have been prescribing the bear bile in their recipes, but when they were provided with information on stopping bear bile farming, they felt the pain of witnessing what the bears had to endure, then actively made contact with Animals Asia to rescue the bear.

At present, Animals Asia continues to carry out propaganda work on a wide range of issues covering rescue, care, welfare enhancement, education, and spreading non-bear bile use promotion and the replacement of safe herbs instead of bear bile and building herbal garden alternative to bear bile in multiple localities. All the programmes’ ultimately aim to encourage the community to really join hands to protect each bear, said Dr. Tuan Bendixsen.

With the Christmas upon, Animals Asia named the sun bear “Aurora,” which means “a natural light display” and “goddess of the dawn”, with the belief that the release of Aurora would make a wish from bears come true.

Veterinarians examined the health of Aurora to ensure that she is capable to travel 1,547 km back to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park, the northern province of Vinh Phuc in the next five days.

Aurora has been broken out of her cage and is now on a five-day journey of 1,547 km back to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park, the northern province of Vinh Phuc. (Photo by Animals Asia)

Since 2007, the Animals Asia has saved 201 bears in multiple provinces and cities throughout Vietnam. In 2018, the organisation has conducted four rescue trips to successfully rescue eight bears and transfer them to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre.

The Animals Asia has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to close all of the remaining bear farms nationwide. It is expected that roughly 800 additional bears will be rescued from 2017-2022.