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Lives of two rescued bear cubs saved from wildlife trade

Two bear cubs rescued from wildlife traffickers have made a remarkable recovery in the care of international animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS, and have taken their first steps outdoors.


Mi and Tam had a very bad start to their young lives. At the age of only a few weeks, cubs Mi and Tam, were snatched from their mother and fell into the hands of unscrupulous wildlife smugglers. The illegal trade with the two bear babies was stopped at the last minute thanks to the cooperation of the Vietnamese police and local authorities, Education for Nature-Vietnam, Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, and FOUR PAWS.


Extremely dehydrated and in a totally weakened state, weighing only 900 grams each, Mi and Tam were confiscated by the authorities in Hai Phong province at the beginning of January 2019 and handed over to FOUR PAWS and its bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam.


Although a FOUR PAWS team immediately provided the two bear babies with round-the-clock medical care and milk substitutes, the situation was very bad for them for a long time. All the more reason to be happy that the two cubs, each weighing a proud 19 kilograms, are now out of the woods.


“The two bear cubs Mi and Tam are doing great and are enjoying the best of health. For many weeks, FOUR PAWS’ animal caretakers and veterinarians feared for the lives of the two little Asiatic black bear cubs and cared for them in the BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh with great dedication. And luckily, their hard work prevailed,” said Jeroen van Kernebeek, Country Director of FOUR PAWS in Australia. “Both bears are out of danger and were able to move from quarantine to a beautiful outdoor enclosure yesterday.”


"We are overwhelmed that our two protégés have made it. It’s a small wonder to us that in five months, the two bears evolved from being alarmingly underweight to now two fun-loving, strong animals that are hungry for life and are playful and happy," said Emily Lloyd, Animal Manager at FOUR PAWS Vietnam. "Seeing the two cheerfully romping around in their enclosure is the best reward for all our efforts."


Since Mi and Tam cannot be released into the wild, they will stay in the BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh and lead a happy bear life there.

Space for 100 abused bears in BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh


FOUR PAWS officially opened its BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh on the 7 of March 2019. Located in Ninh Binh Province of Vietnam, the new sanctuary already provides a species-appropriate home for seventeen bears, including fifteen former bile bears. In the past, they have regularly been illegally drained of bile, which is considered a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine. There are still an estimated 800 bile bears suffering on around 250 bear farms. FOUR PAWS therefore calls on the Vietnamese government to press ahead with the closure of bear farms and to place the animals in sanctuaries.


The BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh will have space for 100 abused bears once all construction work has been completed. Not only will it provide a species-appropriate home for former bile bears and victims of wildlife smuggling, it will also serve as an educational centre for animal and species conservation in Vietnam. Built to the latest standards, the centre currently has its own veterinary clinic, two bear houses, a quarantine station and four outdoor enclosures.

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