A new conservation centre was inaugurated by Four Paws - an international animal welfare charity - in Ky Phu commune of Ninh Binh province's Nho Quan district on March 7, marking an important milestone in the efforts to end bear farming and protect bears in the wild in Vietnam.
Covering a total area of 10ha, the facility provides enough room for around 100 bears, which have been abused for their bile, to live in a peaceful semi-wild environment that is suitable to their natural habits.
So far, the sanctuary has completed its first phase with an area of 3.6 ha and is currently taking care of 10 bears that have been rescued from bear bile farming, plus two cubs that are victims of the illegal wildlife trade.
It is equipped with modern standards with a veterinary clinic, two bear houses, an isolation area and four semi-wild areas. Currently, the establishment can receive 32 additional bears. It is expected that by the end of 2019, the facility will have enough room for more than 70 individuals.
According to Four Paws, there are roughly 800 bears, mainly Asian black bears, being kept in limited living conditions at 250 private captive farms across Vietnam. Through the construction of Ninh Binh Bear Conservation Facility, Four Paws is expected to contribute to put an end to bear farming in the country.
The conservation centre targets to help the government to promote the implementation of legal documents prohibiting bear bile extraction. It is also an appropriate place for receiving and caring for bears confiscated from illegal wildlife trafficking activities or voluntary transfer.
It will be open to visitors for free from March 8, from 9 am to 3 pm every day.
Vice Chairman of the Ninh Binh People's Committee Nguyen Ngoc Thach said since 2015, the northern province has assisted Four Paws to build the bear sanctuary in the area zoned for the Vietnam National Wildlife Park in the province. This is a pilot model for wildlife rescue and care that Ninh Binh hopes to develop in the future, which in turn will help promote local tourism.