Two bear cubs rescued from illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam


FOUR PAWS brings the baby bears to its sanctuary in Ninh Binh

Vietnamese authorities confiscated two Asiatic black bears in Hai Phong province on 9 January 2019. The female bear cubs, only a few weeks old, fell victim to wildlife smugglers. International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has taken the two bears into its care and brought them to its bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh. There, the bears will receive intensive medical care. The whereabouts of the cubs' mother are still unclear.

The illegal sale of the cubs was stopped just in time thanks to the cooperation of Vietnamese police and authorities, the local NGO 'ENV' (Education for Nature-Vietnam), Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand and FOUR PAWS. After their confiscation, FOUR PAWS veterinarians immediately provided the bears with medical care. The bears spent one night at a hotel and were transferred to the FOUR PAWS BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh on January 10.

"The bears are still very young, and the situation is critical, but we will do everything we can for their survival. The bear cubs were dehydrated when we took them over. Our team of veterinarians currently provides them with milk enriched with vitamins and probiotics. Although the bears only weigh 900 grammes, both are quite strong and drink enough of the milk."

Emily Lloyd, FOUR PAWS Vietnam Animal Manager 

There is no trace of the mother and the origin of the two cubs has not yet been determined. However, there is a high possibility that the bears were imported from Laos or came directly from bear farms in Vietnam. Details about the planned sale are currently unknown. Since it is not possible to release the bears into the wild, the animals remain in the species-appropriate bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh.

BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh: a species-appropriate home for rescued bears

The FOUR PAWS bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh represents an important contribution to end bile bear farming in Vietnam. Research in 2016 and 2017 revealed that many bears are still used for bile extraction and the illegal trade of bear bile is still thriving in Vietnam. Currently, BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh offers space for 44 bears. FOUR PAWS has already transferred over ten rescued bears to the sanctuary.

Read more about the bear sanctuary here

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FOUR PAWS press contact

Elise Burgess

Head of Communications

T: 02 9198 4417

M: 0423 873 382

FOUR PAWS Australia
GPO Box 2845SYDNEY NSW 2001

Main Phone: 1800 454 228

FOUR PAWS is an international animal protection organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need through work which is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise, as well as national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals who suffer under human influence: stray animals, animals used in fashion, companion animals, wild animals and farmed animals.

With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly.