Rescue Bear Cubs Mi and Tam

Jan 2019

Ninh Binh

Rescue Bear Cubs Mi and Tam

Two bear cubs saved from illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam


Vietnamese authorities confiscated two Asiatic black bears in the Hai Phong province on January 9th 2019. The female bear cubs, only a few weeks old, fell victim to wildlife smugglers. We have taken the two bears into our care at BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh where they will receive intensive medical care.  

"We are overjoyed that these two bears have defied all odds. The once weak animals have become so strong, fun-loving and full of life. Seeing the two cheerfully romping around in their enclosure is the best reward for all our efforts."

-Emily Lloyd, FOUR PAWS Vietnam Animal Manager 

Mi and Tam are cared for around the clock by two bear keepers and fed with special puppy milk every 3 hours. After each feeding, the two take long naps in their soft, towel-lined and heated box in our darkened clinic.

Victims of the cruel illegal wildlife trade

There is no trace of the mother and the origin of the two cubs has not yet been determined. However, there is a high possibility that the bears were imported from Laos or came directly from bear farms in Vietnam. Details to the planned trade are currently unknown.

For more information, read the latest press release on Mi and Tam. 

Since it is not possible to release the bears into the wild, the animals remain in the species-appropriate bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh.

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The battle for bear cub Mi

We were really worried about the health status of Mi. After their rescue, we noticed that Mi is the smaller and weaker cub. We also noticed that Mi was having difficulty to coordinate her movements, while Tam was already able to stand normally. The FOUR PAWS Viet vet team together with external neurologists were trying to improve her condition through veterinary support and physiotherapy. She was responding well to the treatment and her coordination difficulties were mild. Fortunately, Mi gained weight, grew and became incredibly active over time, which are positive signs for her development. 

Update January 2020

Mi and Tam have just 'celebrated' their one-year after arrival in our sanctuary (10th of January 2019). When they were rescued they were dehydrated, weak and just weighed 1.7 and 1.9 lbs. Today they are active,  cheeky and weigh 77.1 and 81.5 lbs! 

Update June 2020

Mi and Tam have lived next to the enclosure of Lulu, Lili and Lac and have been curious about the bigger bears. Sometimes they even stand still and observe them while playing. Yesterday, Mi and Tam were introduced to Lulu, Lili and Lac for the very first time. They are doing really well together and playing a lot. Let’s hope the five will become really good friends!  

The bears in their enclosure

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