Two bear cubs rescued from illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam


FOUR PAWS brings the few weeks old bears to its sanctuary in Ninh Binh

10th 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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Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK 

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FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orang-utans kept in inappropriate conditions. 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.