Viet Nam News
TIỀN GIANG — Five endangered Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) were rescued from a private farm in Mỹ Tho City in the southern province of Tiền Giang on Monday. These bears are now on the way to Việt Nam’s Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Đảo Town in the northern Vĩnh Phúc Province.
The NGO Animals Asia said the five bears, which had been nurtured in captivity by a family with identification cards for management since 1997, were all given medical checks before starting the 1,700km journey to the rescue centre.
It said these bears, of which two are female, were found to have tooth decay, baldness and arthritic limbs.
One bear had lost half a tongue, while two other were suffering from cataracts or were blind.
The local rangers said the province has nine bears in captivity at private farms.
An Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is seen living in a farm in Mỹ Tho City of Tiển Giang Province. — Photo courtesy Animals Asia
According to Animals Asia, this was the first rescue of the year, and the largest ever case since it started operating in Việt Nam in 2005.
It has rescued 198 black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and Sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), of which 178 are now living at the Việt Nam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Đảo National Park in Vĩnh Phúc Province.
In 2017, Animals Asia and the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on closing all bear bile farms and protecting all remaining bears living in nature.
According to the latest report, Việt Nam has 800 bears living at farms.
The Asiatic black bear, which is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species, is believed to be an important indicator of conservation efforts on the ground to improve the quality of forests, home to some of the world’s greatest biodiversity. — VNS