November opened an exciting new chapter in the campaign against bear farming: a farmer actually gave his bears to AAF with no expectation or request for remuneration, the first time this has happened. Mr Nguyen had read about Animals Asia and seen its work on TV. With a conscience troubled by his involvement in the cruel bear bile business, he made the decision to end the misery for his 14 bears, who had been trapped on the farm for at least eight years. Several are missing paws, most likely as a result of snare-trapping in the wild.
Sadly 40 bears still remain on the farm, owned by other bear farm partners. But hopefully the compassionate act of this man will encourage the other owners to rethink their participation in this cruel industry.
To read about this rescue and view more photos, click the photos below.
The significance of this particular rescue cannot be overstated….. When I was in Vietnam, our hotel manager in Hanoi apologised profusely to me for the treatment of bears on the bear-bile farms. People’s views _are_ changing. The good fortune of these 14 bears vindicates the tireless work carried out by organisations such as Animals Asia on behalf of animals who are not in a position to defend themselves. AAF’s charter is not just about rescuing bears, it’s about changing consciousness.
It’s fabulous news for 14 bears and our paws are crossed for the 40 that were left behind. But it does mean that there is now even more pressure on the facilities at Tam Dao where Jigsaw lives. These new arrivals will require all the same veterinary checks & medications (just look at those terrible paws above), special diets and occupational therapy to restore their atrophied muscles. Not to mention all the other delights Jigsaw already enjoys: sunshine, grass, fresh browse, swimming – all things that bears should naturally have access to .
All the more reason to keep up OUR support for Jigsaw…
But imagine how Mr Nguyen will feel when he visits the sanctuary, hopefully with his (recent) business partners, to see how healthy and happy his bears have become. Surely that, more than anything will persuade them to release the remaining 40 bears to AAF….