104 Rescued Bears Forced Out of Sanctuary and Back into Cages

By Jill Robinson, Founder of Animals Asia

We’ve had some shocking news. After working so hard over so many years to build a world-class sanctuary for the bears rescued from Vietnam’s bile farms, we are being asked to leave.

On Friday October 5, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) informed Animals Asia that the Ministry of Defence had issued an order to evict the entire sanctuary operation and its 104 rescued bears. There is no justification for this.

It’s believed the park director, Do Dinh Tien, lobbied the Ministry of Defence to evict Animals Asia, so he can hand the land to Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, of which his daughter is part owner. The company intends to build commercial property including a tourist park and hotels.

The closure would see 104 bears that have been rescued from the bile industry evicted, 77 local Vietnamese staff made unemployed, and financial losses to Animals Asia of more than $2 million.

After years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and milked for their bile, our bears are now enjoying dens, enclosures and friends to play with. These bears will be forced to return to cages to be relocated. This will have a major negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. It is likely to take at least two years to establish a new center with outdoor enclosures. (The bear named Grace pictured above is also blind.)

The bears are finally living in peace - we can't cage them again.

We’re fighting this eviction notice every step of the way, appealing directly to the Vietnamese authorities, enlisting help from the international community, the media and other NGOs. But most of all we need your help.

Three Ways To Help Now:

Please write to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, and appeal to him to allow Animals Asia’s Vietnam bear sanctuary, which he previously approved and endorsed, to continue operations, and expand, in line with the government’s original agreement.

Step 1. Email Prime Minister Mr Nguyen Tan Dung at nguoiphatngonchinhphu@chinhphu.vn Below is sample text for your email:

Dear Honourable Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng,

I write to express my concern that Animals Asia’s world-class bear sanctuary is to be evicted from Tam Dao National Park by the Ministry of Defence.

The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s agreement with Animals Asia, to develop a rescue centre on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. The closure would see 104 rescued bears evicted, 77 Vietnamese staff made unemployed, and financial losses to Animals Asia of more than US$2 million.

Please overturn the decision to evict Animals Asia and honour your government’s agreement.

Step 2:  Share this article on Facebook and Twitter

Step 3: Sign the Petition Below

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Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

Absurd. Bile farming shouldn't be allowed to begin with!

Sarah clevenger
Sarah clevenger4 years ago

Why Whould they put these bears through missery agin

Liling O4 years ago

All these bear bile farming has to be stopped!
This is very frustratingly mad when somebody out there is doing good deeds for these poor animals and they have to face all kinds of obstacles and pressure from the government and all,just because the government has been acting like an emperor!
This is nonsense!

Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A5 years ago

I am horrified to hear that they would even consider shutting down the sanctuary and putting those lovely creatures back in harms way!! What a trajedy for those poor creatures. I pray that this does not happen. They deserve to live their lives in piece now.

Dogan Ozkan
Dogan Ozkan5 years ago


mari s.
Mari S5 years ago

signed -- what is status? i'm praying that the bears will remain in their safe and secure home at the sanctuary.

Rosemary Underhay

Have signed.


raya ENGLER5 years ago

YUP, I SIGNED IT !!! Let's hope it does good. Suffering is universal and they have suffered so very much.

Julia A.
Julia A5 years ago

It is NOT too late to sign the petition, or to write to Vietnamese authorities.
104 bears, recovering from the trauma of trapping, incarceration and the horrors of bile-farming are under threat. If the closure of the sanctuary goes ahead, these bears will have to be returned to cages until space can be found for them. What will that do to them?

The closure of the rescue centre would have a severe impact:
■ 104 bears, rescued from Vietnam bear bile farms and smugglers - evicted
■ 77 local Vietnamese staff – unemployed
■ US$2 million – investment in building and development by Animals Asia - lost
The local economy that depends on the centre would also be severely impacted, and the Vietnamese government’s commitment to ending bear bile farming would be called into question.

Rosemary Underhay

I copy below a reply I received from the Vietnam Tourist Board to my letter of complaint about the eviction. Perhaps it would be a further means of pressure.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vietnamtourism Support
Date: 2012/11/2
Subject: Re: Feedback Form: Eviction of rescued bears
To: runderhay@gmail.com

Greetings from www.vietnamtourism.com

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are sorry for what happened. We forwarded your email to authorized office relating to this problem.

Thank you for your care to Vietnam's tourism and environment.

Best regards,

Support team

-----Original Message-----
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 23:47:08 0700
Subject: Feedback Form: Eviction of rescued bears

I am horrified to hear that your country is going to evict the rescued bears from the Animals Asia sanctuary. It is appalling that your governments have not enforced the law making the bile farms illegal. I shall recommend my friends to avoid travelling to Vietnam for their holidays.