Rescue Bears Lili, Lulu and Lac

May 2019

Ninh Binh

Rescue Bears Lili, Lulu, and Lac

The impromptu rescue of three nameless Asiatic black bears 


After months of work led by our local partners "Education for Nature Vietnam", three illegally kept bears from a bile bear farm in Nghe An province were confiscated by the authorities on May 30th. For our team in Vietnam, this rescue came unexpectedly, and they only had a few hours to prepare. The mission was carried out under intense pressure but fortunately, the three bears are now safe in our BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh.

"It was the most extreme situation that our team has had to deal with so far. The whole team was amazing and didn’t falter, although it was an incredibly stressful and difficult situation."

Emily Lloyd, Animal Manager FOUR PAWS Viet 

How they got there names?

The two female bears were named Lulu and Lili by FOUR PAWS Viet. For the male bear we asked the FOUR PAWS Facebook community for their help to pick one of these two options for the male: 

  • Lac meaning “peanut”
  • Em meaning “small”


Peanut or "Lac" won!

By June 14th, Lac has really settled and his playful personality started shining through. He loves water and having showers so much that it is difficult to clean his cage and fill his water bowl because he continuously jumps in front of the hose. He likes to put his whole face in the water bowl to drink. He loves banana leaves and the hessian bags we give him for bedding. 

Now all bears have names: Lili, Lulu and Lac

Update: August 2019

The three bears, Lulu, Lili and Lac, moved into the bear house a couple of weeks ago. We were immediately able to integrate them as they had shown very positive behavior towards each other during the quarantine period. All three bears arrived at the sanctuary absolutely terrified, with Lulu in particular reacting to every movement and sound for weeks. At this age in the wild they would usually still be with their mother. It has taken us months of careful trust building work between caretakers and bears (plus copious amounts of honey) but we have seen such a significant positive change in these little bears demeanor. They are happy and playful and curious, with incredible enthusiasm towards all their daily enrichment. This week Lulu, Lili and Lac were released to the outdoor enclosure and are able to discover the outdoors for the first time in their lives. 

Update: September 2021

Years after the rescue of the three bear cubs, Lili, Lulu and Lac, the bears are doing great and are loving their new lives at our BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh! 

Today they venture all around the whole outdoor enclosure, where they spend their days climbing, swimming, digging and playing – and in June last year, bears Mi and Tam also joined the fun as they were introduced to the group!

As all of the bears are young, their health conditions are all very good and their youth shows in their personalities; all five are super active and enthusiastic about everything.

The saddest bears in Vietnam

This case demonstrates the ongoing problem of illegally kept bears in Vietnam, and that authorities must continue their efforts to ensure they are found and immediately confiscated - to ultimately bring an end to all bear farming in Vietnam.

More information about our work in Vietnam: #saddestbears

Support the new lives of Lili, Lulu and Lac

Thank you for your help!

Donate now

Support Lili, Lulu, and Lac

Share now!