Coronavirus: Help Free the Bears


More news is coming in of animal charities needing help with their rescues, and if you can manage it, please donate – it’s basically that straightforward. 

Free the Bears have rescued over 950 bears in their time – they have helped the most vulnerable bear species for 25 years – sloth, sun and moon bears.   They care for rescued bears in their bear sanctuaries and they protect bears in the wild.

Two moon bears rescued from a life in a cage

They emailed this morning with some good news – they have rescued 2 moon bears and more from a life of being in a cage

Thanks to the help of their supporters, they were able to rescue 2 moon bears.  These had been caged and mutilated for bile extraction for years.  After a COVID-19 lockdown period, Free the Bears were suddenly given permission in late February to rescue the male, who had been caged for 18 years.  Can you imagine that?  He is recovering at Free the Bears’ Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary and, as you can see, enjoyed the first tray of fruit he's probably ever tasted, bless him.

Rescued!  And off to a new life with Free the Bears
©Free the Bears

The female was rescued on 7 March, thank goodness, and she has now escaped 22 years of torture.  She has many health issues and in a delicate condition, so needing careful and considerable vet care and treatment. Hopefully she will be all right, and be able to enjoy many years of love and care, swimming in pools, taking long naps in a hammock and foraging about in the forest. 

And while they were at it, they rescued 2 moon bear cubs in Laos and a tiny sun bear cub in Cambodia.  And there’s more! They rescued three tiny, malnourished leopard cat kittens in Laos, two males and a female. Sadly the female didn't survive, but the males are recovering in one of the sanctuaries and have put nearly on nearly 50% of their body weight!

But they need your help urgently!

Now for the bad news: due to the coronavirus, Free the Bears are very short of volunteers who are no longer able to visit and help, and donations. Over the years, they have been able to manage increasing bear care costs by raising funds with Bear Care Tours and Experiences at their sanctuaries. 

The coronavirus has led inevitably to cancellations and no funds coming in.

Can you help?

They ask that, if we are able to, we become Bear Carers & commit to a small monthly donation.  The Bear Buddy level of Bear Carer is just AUD$10 a month – that’s about US$6, Euro5.5 or £5 a month.

If enough of us sign up to become a Bear Carer, that will help Free the Bears get through these very tough times.   It would make a great gift for anyone who loves nature and bears. Become a bear carer and help provide their rescued bears with good diets, enrichment activities to stimulate their minds, fantastic vet care and large forest enclosures – all the bear necessities of life

Free the Bears - Bear a Bear Carer©Free the Bears

Free the Bears actually has a number of other ways you can donate:

  • Just make a donation, pure and simple
  • Become a bear sponsor - sponsor a bear and help the bear and his or her friends!  
  • Give a bear a gift – this could make a great gift for a bear lover.   You can click on a number of bears and choose one (goodness knows how, they all look adorable) and your sponsorship will go towards your special bear and their friends at the sanctuary!  There’s a range of them to choose from – a pot of honey, a tub of peanuts, a treat ball, a bear cub kit, a bear hammock (essential for those lazy days), a bathing pool (lovely to cool off in) and a climbing frame.  Gifts start at 15 Australian dollars but you can do this all on line from wherever you are in the world.   100 Australian dollars at the time of writing was just under £50 (but currency rates vary from day to day so don’t quote me!) 

Give a bear a hammock
Give a bear a hammock
©Free the Bears

Free the Bears leads nationwide campaigns in Cambodia and Laos to raise awareness and educate local communities about wildlife and the illegal wildlife trade.   Their Awareness, Communication and Education Teams give local and international youth groups tailor-made schedules with interactive lessons, games and activities about the environment, wildlife, conservation and sustainability.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has a project with Free the Bears – you can find out about it here.