Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Care for the Bear Appeal

Help to feed hungry mouths

Dancing Bear and Owner (c) IAR
(c) IAR; Brutally trained to dance
Little Cub (c) IAR
(c) IAR; Rescued cubs need specialist care

Bannerghatta, India

The cruel practice of dancing bears was made illegal in India in 1972 but in the decades that followed sloth bears caught from the wild continued to be beaten and mutilated to force them to dance. International Animal Rescue and Indian partners Wildlife SOS succeeded in bringing this barbaric practice to an end in December 2009 and the hundreds of rescued bears now live in a safe, semi-natural environment in sanctuaries in India.

The Agra facility in the north is situated on land within the government-owned Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, under the overall supervision of the Uttar Pradesh Forestry Department. The sanctuary provides a beautiful forest habitat where the bears roam freely after a period of quarantine and rehabilitation. The socialisation areas have bathing pools, purpose-built dens, feeding and resting areas, as well as climbing frames and other tools of environmental enrichment

At the end of 2005 International Animal Rescue and Wildlife SOS set up a second sanctuary within the beautiful Bannerghatta Safari Park outside Bangalore. Like the Agra facility, Bannerghatta has a fully equipped veterinary surgery to treat sick and injured bears and carry out complex dental surgery on their broken teeth and painful gums. Born Free assisted with funding for this clinic which also benefits the foundations’s rescued tigers who live next door.

“The bears in our care have been severely beaten during their lives on the streets. They have had teeth removed and their claws cut right back to the quick. They have had a hole burnt into the top of their nose and a rope passed through and out through one nostril. This allowed the handler to force his bear to ‘dance’. After the misery they have suffered, it’s the least we can do to make the rest of their lives contented and pain-free. By working closely with Born Free we can give the bears the lives they deserve.  Please help us care for the rescued dancing bears of India.
Alan Knight
Director, International Animal Rescue

Now that the trade in dancing bears in India has been brought to a historic end, the huge challenge remains of feeding and caring for the bears for the rest of their lives – which could be for the next twenty years. The costs of providing them with nutritious food, expert veterinary care and plenty of mental and physical stimulation are considerable.


  • £15 will provide painkillers and antibiotics for one rescued bear
  • £100 will provide veterinary care and food for two bears for a month
  • £2,500 will buy a complete dental unit

We are asking the caring British public to help us get these Bear Necessities.

Follow this link to make a donation >

Build a Bear Sanctuary

(c) Animals Asia; Bile is extracted from a living bear
(c) Animals Asia; Rescued bears can recover at the sanctuary

Hanoi, Vietnam

Jill Robinson MBE and her team at Animals Asia urgently need our help as they plan a new Bear Rescue Centre and Sanctuary in Hanoi. This will allow them to provide sanctuary for the moon bears they rescue from Vietnam’s cruel bear farms, as they already have done in China. At the Centre, bears would undergo painstaking surgery to treat their appalling wounds. Free from pain, and with careful attention to their mental and physical needs, the rescued bears will receive loving care for the rest of their lives.

So much needs to be done to help the bears rescued from farms in Vietnam, a mercy mission backed by the Vietnamese authorities. Funds are urgently being sought to build the new Rescue Centre’s quarantine and den areas, natural enclosures and a small surgery. A vet team and other staff need to be employed, suitable food and medicines purchased, and an Education Centre created. Here visitors from Asia and around the world will be inspired to embrace the alternatives to bear bile and keep bears where they belong, in the wild.

Jill’s task is daunting. Her goal challenging. But this remarkable woman shines a light for all of us who struggle to end suffering and cruelty. With your support, Born Free can help Jill reach her goal to rescue the bears of Vietnam. Born Free has pledged to raise urgent funds to support Animal Asia’s new Rescue Centre. Please send what you can to help us.” Virginia McKenna, Born Free’s Founder & Trustee

Key aspects of the list are:

  • £11 for one bag of life-saving intravenous fluids
  • £90 for a complete course of antibiotics and pain killers, following surgery to remove the catheter and treat the infected area (these are given to the bears twice a day in a tasty fruit shake!)
  • £144 for a pair of cordless surgical clippers to prepare the rescued bears for vital surgery.
  • £2,300 for a set of ceiling-mounted surgery lights to enable precision surgery.
  • £3,300 to care for one bear for one year – this includes the costs of food, medication, veterinary skills, housing and accommodation, and general care from our bear workers.

We are asking the caring British public to help us get these Bear Necessities.

Follow this link to make a donation >

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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