Bear Cubs Rescued in Laos

Luang Prabang, April 2016 - On Thursday April 7, Free the Bears, working in partnership with Laos government agencies, rescued three Moon Bear cubs being held captive in the historic town of Luang Prabang in northern Laos.

The first two cubs, a male and female sibling pair named Kham-Noy and Wandii, were rescued from a small cage at the back of a Guesthouse with the assistance of the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office who negotiated the release of the cubs. Mr Khamkhan Chanthavisouk, the Provincial Governor, attended the handover and ensured that the cubs were safely transferred into our care.


The third cub was discovered being held in a tiny cage at the back of a car dealership where he was being kept as a pet. Nicknamed ‘Panda’, he is thought to be 6-9 months of age but is in poor condition due to an inadequate diet prior to his rescue.

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Three globally-threatened Moon bear cubs rescued in Luang Prabang in a joint operation between Provincial forestry officers and NGO Free the Bears; Panda (left) and Kham Noy and Wandii (right).


Free the Bears operates world-class bear rescue centres in Laos and Cambodia, as well as supporting a number of other bear rescue facilities across Asia. The three cubs from this latest rescue have been taken to the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre 30km south of Luang Prabang where they were safely unloaded and placed into comfortable dens. They will spend several weeks in quarantine before being introduced to other cubs of their own age.

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Luang Prabang Provincial Governor Mr Khamkhan Chanthavisouk bidding the cubs a safe journey and happy new life together with members of the FRee the Bears and PAFO teams


This latest rescue brings the number of bears being cared for by Free the Bears in Laos up to 37 animals. Many of the bears at the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre were destined for bile farms, which still operate in Laos. At the farms, the bears are kept in tiny cages and they are ‘milked’ for bile to be used in traditional Asian medicines. Bears in Laos are also poached and killed for their body parts that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) throughout East and Southeast Asia.