Viet Nam News
NINH BÌNH — The bear sanctuary operated by wildlife welfare organisation Four Paws Việt opened to the public on Thursday in the northern province of Ninh Bình, marking a new milestone for efforts to protect bears from bile farming in Việt Nam.
Located in the mountainous district of Nho Quan, the sanctuary is home to 10 Asiatic Black bears which used to be captive for bile extraction and two bear cubs saved from the illegal wildlife trade in January, 2019.
Open every day from 9am to 5pm, the sanctuary offers free admission to visitors. They can observe rescued bears enjoying their lives in the semi-wild enclosures and learn about the pain they suffered as victims of bear bile farming.
The bear sanctuary has its own veterinary clinic, two bear houses, a quarantine station and four outdoor enclosures.
Constructions are planned to cover an area of 10ha, offering living spaces for some 100 abused bile bears.
In the second phase of the project which kicked off on the same day, a wildlife education centre and a dormitory for volunteers will be built.
Visitors can also experience local vegetables at the sanctuary’s vegan bistro and bring home eco-friendly handmade souvenirs from the shop.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyễn Ngọc Thạch, deputy head of the provincial people’s committee, stressed the bear sanctuary was a pilot model of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation that Ninh Bình Province wanted to expand into its own national wildlife park project.
German Ambassador to Việt Nam Christian Berger expressed his appreciation for local authorities, donors and NGOs working in wildlife reserve for their efforts in supporting the project.
“Ninh Bình provides a home for bears and in the province, there is no more bear captivity. I hope other localities will follow the positive example Ninh Bình has given,” he said.
Next week, from March 11 to 12, five bears from three farms in the southern provinces of Bình Dương and Đồng Nai are planned to be rescued in a collaborative effort of Four Paws Việt with Education for Nature Việt Nam and World Animal Protection.
Two trucks and a bus carrying transporting cages will leave Ninh Bình Province on Friday to save two bears in Bình Dương Province on March 11 before rescuing the rest in Đồng Nai the following day.
The team and five bears will travel some 1,700 km in three days back to the sanctuary. — VNS