10 January 2019 – Vietnamese authorities confiscated two Asiatic black bears in the Hai Phong province on 9th 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. It is still unclear where the mother of the two bears is.
The illegal trade of the bears was stopped just in time thanks to the cooperation of the Vietnamese police and authorities, the local NGO ENV (Education for Nature-Vietnam), Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand and FOUR PAWS. After the confiscation, FOUR PAWS veterinarians immediately provided the bears with medical care. The bears spent one night at a hotel and were transferred to FOUR PAWS' BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh on 10th January 2019. "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 added with vitamins and probiotics. Although the bears only weigh 900 grams, both are quite strong and drink enough of the milk," says FOUR PAWS Vietnam Animal Manager Emily Lloyd.
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 to the planned trade 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
With its bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh, FOUR PAWS is making 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 at large in Vietnam. Currently the BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh offers space for 44 bears. FOUR PAWS has already transferred over ten rescued bears to the sanctuary.
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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, 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. www.four-paws.org