Dong Nai: Local voluntarily hands over 200 kg bear

Thursday, 2017-12-21 11:20:19
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The bear has been in captive in Nguyen Thi Lan's family for more than 20 years and there is no sign of recent bile extraction. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – An Asian black bear weighing more than 200 kg has been voluntarily handed over to the functional forces in the southern Dong Nai province for better care.

On December 20, Dong Nai provincial Forest Protection Department and the Cat Tien National Park Rescue Centre received the bear from Nguyen Thi Lan’s family in Tan Hiep ward, Bien Hoa city.

The female bear has been kept in Lan’s family for over 20 years as a pet. The bears have been chipped for years for management and have just been re-attached to mocrochip on December 3. During the inspection and chip re-attaching for bears in Dong Nai, the World Animal Protection Organisation together with the Dong Nai Forest Protection encouraged the family to hand over the bear to functional forces. In early December, Lan's family made a voluntary petition to hand over the bear. According to the World Animal Protection’s staff, the bear has no signs of extracting bile in recent years.

Lan said that when starting to raise the bear, it was only 1.8 kg, but now her weight is more than 200 kg. After being informed by the authorities, Lan wished to transfer the bear to the State so that she may receive better care for and live in better conditions. Lan also expressed her hope that other bear farmers across the country will soon deliver the bears so that they can live close to the nature.

A representative from Cat Tien National Park Rescue Centre said that at the time of receiving, the bear’s health was normal. As being kept in small cages for a long time, she was brought to Cat Tien National Park to take care of and familiarise the animal with its natural environment within the specially controlled area there.

The bear was handed over voluntarily by Lan’s family to the functional forces. (Credit: Education for Nature-Vietnam)

Prior to that, on December 11, 2017, Hanoi Animal Rescue Centre also received a bear from a household in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. Two recently delivered bears have raised the total number of bears voluntarily transferred across the country to 25 individuals this year. However, there are still 936 bears in captivity in 272 captive breeding facilities throughout the country.

Vietnam has two species of bears, namely Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and sun bear (Helarctos malayanus). Both bear species are protected by the law at the highest level, listed on the List of endangered, precious and rare species prioritised for protection issued together with Decree No. 160/2013/NĐ-CP dated November 12, 2013. They are also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In addition, under the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 6 under the Investment Law 2014 (taking effect from July 1, 2015), bears, bear parts and any products thereof shall be considered as prohibited for business investment.

At the beginning of 2018, the Penal Code No. 100/2015/QH13 will officially come into effect. Accordingly, acts of "illegally hunting, killing, capturing, transporting or trafficking illegally" or "illegally transporting or trafficking of individuals, body parts or products from bears" and "storing" will be subject to criminal proceedings. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, offenders will be issued a fine ranging from VND500 million to VND2 billion or sentenced to a maximum of 15 years.