On June 17, a Sun bear individual, an animal classified as "endangered" in Vietnam’s Red Data Book, was voluntarily transferred by a bear owner in Minh Long commune, Chon Thanh district (Binh Phuoc) to the Free The Bears bear center in Cat Tien National Park.
Mr. Nguyen Van Dung - Executive Director of Free the Bears in Vietnam said that currently, many bears are being kept in captivity in farms and households without humane treatment. These bears suffer from a poor diet, live in cramped cages, and receive no veterinary care… Like humans, bears need to enjoy a free life in the forest - where it belongs, have the right to live, be loved, and be cared for and protected.
“We hope that owners will have a "humane heart with a humane action" and transfer the captive bears to rescue centers in Vietnam as soon as possible. This will grant them a better life, creating conditions for bear populations in the wild to be restored and developed," said Mr. Nguyen Van Dung.
According to ENV's database, there are still nearly 300 bears in the country currently being kept in captivity in more than 100 private facilities. This number has decreased by more than 90% over the past 15 years from 4,300 individuals (in 2005).
According to Mr. Nguyen Van Dung, Free the Bears is an Australian international NGO for wildlife protection established in 1995. For over 25 years, Free the Bears has rescued and cared for more than 950 bears across Southeast and South Asia. Currently, Free the Bears is operating three bear centers in cooperation with the governments of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam (Cat Tien Bear Center).
Currently, Cat Tien Bear Center has rescued and is taking care of more than 45 individuals, including 11 Sun bears and 34 moon bears. Vietnam is home to two species of bear, the Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and the moon bear(Ursus thibetanus). Both species are listed as "endangered" in Vietnam’s Red Data Book and are protected by the law under Decree 06/2019/ND-CP dated 22/01/2019 of the Government.
“This sun bear rescue event is proof that, with the efforts and determination of the authorities, wildlife conservation organizations, and the whole community, Vietnam completely can put an end to bear captivity shortly," said Mr. Nguyen Van Dung.
Translated by Hoang Duy
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