Two bears in cruel captivity finally find freedom after 25 years
After more than two decades of cruel confinement on a bear farm, Bonnie and Clyde were successfully rescued in a joint effort with Vietnam’s Forest Protection Department, thanks to your support.
The bears known as Bonnie and Clyde were found living in severely substandard conditions on a bear farm in Binh Duong province of Vietnam. The cages they were kept in were cramped, rusty and barely had any access to sunlight, let alone room to express their natural behaviours. The bears held in captivity appeared depressed, sluggish and seemed to have given up all hopes of being freed.
But thanks to your support, we were able to work with Vietnam’s Forest Protection Department (FPD) to help rescue these sentient beings and give them a life they’ve deserved all along – a life worth living.
After 25 years of misery in captivity, Bonnie and Clyde will now live a peaceful life at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, a specialised bear sanctuary known for its commitment to animal welfare, run by the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF).
Maya Pastakia, International Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection, said:
“In 2005, the Vietnamese government made bear bile farming illegal, but a loophole has allowed bear owners to keep their bears on their farms as “pets”, meaning that hundreds of bears are still suffering a tortuous life in captivity in Vietnam.
“These two beautiful bears, Bonnie and Clyde, were kept in cruel conditions for 25 years, unable to feel the sunlight on their skin and breath fresh air, or roam around and express their natural behaviours as they ordinarily would in the wild. The Vietnamese government must close all remaining legal loopholes to end the suffering of bile bears for good, ensuring that this is the last generation of bears to suffer in captivity. Wild animals have a right to a wild life.”
The rescue was made possible because of Vietnam’s FPD programme, supported by our wildlife team, which monitors bear farms for illegally held bears and persuades their owners to voluntarily surrender these majestic animals to sanctuaries.
In the case of Bonnie and Clyde, it was a voluntary surrender as their owners weren’t able to provide adequate care for the bears in captivity and desired for them to lead a better life elsewhere. The bears were finally freed from the farm with the help of a dedicated team of wildlife experts and local authorities last month.
Bonnie and Clyde will now enjoy the rest of their lives foraging, rolling on soft grass, bathing in the sun and playing in a semi-wild environment filled with enrichments specifically designed to stimulate their natural behaviours.
Thanks to collaborative efforts like this and support from dedicated animal lovers like you, there are now more bears in sanctuaries and rescue centres (336) than on farms (226) in Vietnam.
Together, we can protect bears from cruel captivity and give them lives worth living.