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

Elise Burgess

Head of Communications

M: 0423 873 382

FOUR PAWS Australia
GPO Box 2845 

Main Phone: 1800 454 228

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.

Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.

With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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