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Let's Save the Bear Sanctuary!

Hawaii_bears_042312.jpg In early October 2012 we learned the shocking news that the bears at Animals Asia Foundation’s wonderful sanctuary in Vietnam are facing eviction. The 104 bears living there are the rescued victims of the appallingly cruel bear bile farms. This news is especially distressing for the Born Free Foundation’s founder, Virginia McKenna, who has seen for herself the shocking conditions at bile farms in Vietnam, and Born Free supporters have helped fund this very sanctuary.

The sanctuary is located within Tam Dao National Park and the eviction seems to be the result of an aggressive campaign by the park director, Do Dinh Tien.

The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested more than $2 million in building and infrastructure.

The bears there have been rehabilitated after years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and painfully drained of their bile. It is not difficult to imagine what would go through their minds if they had to be darted, crated and transported again. They would then have to learn that the new surroundings were truly safe and the new humans working with them were not going to catch them again and torture them.

In addition, it is likely to take at least two years to establish a new center with outdoor enclosures, forcing the bears back into cages on a long-term basis.

The case will now go to the prime minister of Vietnam for a final decision. Due to the powerful status of the Ministry of Defence, it is feared that he will be forced to agree with the recommendation to close the center.

What can you do? Write to Vietnam's prime minister today, and urge him to overturn the eviction!

(You can read more about this issue here.)