Ginny is a moon bear who lives at the Born Free-supported Animals Asia bear sanctuary near Chengdu, in south west China.
Moon bears are found across southern Asia – from Iran to Japan – in heavily forested hills, mountains and rainforests. But they are threatened by habitat loss and human exploitation. There are thought to be less than 25,000 living in the wild. Because of this, they are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Ginny, named after Born Free’s Co-Founder & Trustee Virginia McKenna OBE, was rescued from a bear farm where she was painfully ‘milked’ for bile. Bear bile is a traditional ingredient in Asian medicine and is extracted from living moon bears. Caught from the wild, the bears are kept in cramped cages – their teeth and claws removed. It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 moon bears held in farms in horrific conditions in China and Vietnam.
Ginny has now recovered and enjoys her bamboo forest, pool and climbing frames. She shares a spacious enclosure with several other rescued bears, including her special friend Delaney.
“Ginny is special in that she loves the boys but doesn’t have any close female companions,” explains Maggie Balaskas, Born Free’s Animal Rescue & Care Manager.
“Every afternoon, without fail, she rests right next to Delaney as he sleeps in a leaf-covered nest at the back of the enclosure. She usually just lies beside him, but on one occasion was seen gently resting her head on his belly.”
Founded in 1998, Animals Asia works to end the barbaric bear bile trade and abusive animal practices in zoos and safari parks in Asia. It has rescued over 500 bears, caring for them at its award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. Born Free has supported its rescue work for many years.
Help Animals Asia and Born Free continue their work to provide lifetime care for the rescued moon bears in their care by adopting Ginny today.