Bear cub saved, sent to Vietnam Bear Rescue Center

A Malayan sun bear that was rescued in a wildlife trafficking case in northern Vietnam was put under the care of Animals Asia and the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center on July 30, local media said.

Animals Asia, an international wildlife welfare organization, received the bear, with the scientific name Helarctos malayanus, from the Sop Cop District Forestry Protection Office, under the Forestry Protection Sub-Department of the northern province of Son La, the same day.

The bear cub, weighing 3.6kg, was rescued from a backpack worn by a person who was on the way to sell the animal in Son La, which borders Laos to the south.

After saving the bear, forestry officers gave it temporary care under instructions from Animals Asia before sending the animal to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center, located in Tam Dao National Park in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.  

Dr. Tuan Bendixsen, chief representative of Animals Asia in Vietnam, said that the animal was saved with the timely intervention of Vietnamese rangers.

The Vietnam Bear Rescue Center has named the bear Murphy.

Murphy is the 24th bear that has been rescued and handed over to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center, Dr. Bendixsen said.

A bear cub, like a baby, needs a special diet to ensure healthy development, so Animals Asia has paid all costs related to feeding Murphy since the organization took it from the rangers, the Vietnam News Agency quoted Bendixsen as saying.

According to its website, Animals Asia is devoted to ending the practice of bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam.

Since its establishment in 1998, Animals Asia has rescued over 400 bears, caring for them at its award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam, the website said.

From its small beginnings in Hong Kong, Animals Asia has grown into a respected international non-governmental organization with over 300 staff members and offices in Australia, China, Germany, Italy, the UK, the U.S. and Vietnam, according to the website.