Free the Bears leads nationwide campaigns in Cambodia and Laos against the illegal wildlife trade and our bear sanctuaries feature self-learning zones, educational signage and bear viewing areas to engage local and international visitors during their visits. Our Awareness, Education and Communication (ACE) Teams aim to improve attitudes towards bears and encourage sustainable practices to protect them in their natural habitats. We work locally to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting bears through education initiatives and events and provide tailor-made schedules packed with engaging and interactive lessons, games and activities centred on wildlife, the environment as well as the basics of conservation and sustainability.
Since 2008, Free the Bears have provided an interactive experience for both local and international youth groups of all ages to meet and help care for the Sun bears and Moon bears at the heart of our crucial project and learn more about our work to protect bears in the wild. At our Cambodia sanctuary we have an on-site interactive classroom, The Bear Den, the only one of its kind in Asia. It features exclusive viewing areas into the bears’ dens, a fascinating Bear Skull collection and an educational library. Outside the sanctuaries, we visit schools and other institutions to help raise awareness of the bears' plight, and promote our mission to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world. Free the Bears also collaborate with local universities to provide financial support for local students studying Biodiversity Conservation with bears as a focal species.
In rapidly developing nations, education is the key to building a brighter future for bears. We hope that a community-based approach to conservation and animal welfare will promote a sense of affinity between local people and their countries’ bears and natural heritage.