A few of the bear cubs at Free the Bears' sanctuaries

One of our biggest challenges is rehabilitating rescued bears and providing care for their entire lives, which can be up to 30 years. While we get bears of many shapes and sizes, one of the biggest reasons for bear rescues in South-East Asia is illegal wildlife trade.

This means the need for poachers, and the easiest target for live capture for bear poachers are cubs.

Free the Bears aim is to one day be able to rehabilitate bears and release them back to the wild. To be done properly with minimum risk to the bears, this huge undertaking involves studies of bear behaviour and welfare, research on protected areas to safely release them, and bear populations in those areas to avoid territorial disputes and plentiful food and resources in those areas.

Meanwhile, these bears need to be looked after at our world-class sanctuaries for their whole lives, which can be up to 30 years.

In 2014 alone, Free the Bears received 11 bear cubs, all of which need a huge amount of resources in the form of time, money and care. They need rehabilitation, food, living space, medical provisions and 24-hour attention. That’s why we need your support to help us help these bears.

World-class quarantine nursery at Free the Bears' Cambodia sanctuary