A sanctuary in Cambodia has recently seen a deluge of sun bear cubs rescued from the North Eastern provinces. Thousands of hectares of tropical forest – home to many endangered species driven to extinction in other areas – have been destroyed over the past decade in favour of agriculture, in particular rubber and palm oil plantations.

Conservationists at the Free the Bears sanctuary desperately want to find out what is behind the increase; are they caring for more bear cubs because they have been abandoned by their mothers on the edge of the forest, or has the opening up of the area led to a dramatic increase in hunting for valuable bears?

Free-the-Bears 2Meanwhile at the sanctuary, the two sun bear cubs that we reported on earlier this year, have successfully completed their three month quarantine period. Rescue 171 who arrived at the sanctuary as a tiny cub rescued from a market, has been given the name Jesus. His adopted big sister Rescue 172, now called Willow, has also recovered well after she was discovered malnourished and bloated. The pair has recently been joined by another rescued cub called Luna to form a trio.

In April this year Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild charity donated over £6,000 to Free the Bears towards helping the project to provide support to law enforcement efforts; increase awareness about the conservation of the bears; and to develop advanced technologies to support isolated populations of bears.thanks-AFTW

Colchester Zoo’s sun bears Jo-Jo and Srey Ya spent time recuperating at the sanctuary in Cambodia after being rescued by government anti-poaching patrols a few years ago. To celebrate the opening of the pair’s new Bears of the Rising Sun enclosure, we are raising funds throughout our Year of the Bear to help Free the Bears continue their work to assist and protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world.

Article kindly written by Sarah Jones Beer.

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