Bear Escapes Life Behind Bars To Bask In The Sunshine
Happy #MoonBearMonday everyone!
Animals Asia's Vietnam sanctuary may be in the tropics but winter is still coming, and Ricky's determined to soak up all the remaining sun between then and now.
When he was rescued from Lai Chau province in northern Vietnam in September 2012, he was still just a cub trying to deal with the trauma of trafficking - including losing his mother. When he was ready to face the world he was released to an outside enclosure for the first time - it was like he and pal Joey had found a wonderland.
In Animals Asia's October 2012 report it was noted:
"The moment the den slide was opened they were both outside, running around, climbing onto all the structures, sniffing the grass, digging in the soil. They are spending all their time outside now during the day and are often so busy that the team will need to call them inside at their feeding times."
But along with all that playfulness, Ricky still needs a good lie down every now and then.
Animal Asia's Bear Manager Sarah Dempsey said:
"Ricky really loves the outdoors. It's typical of a bear his age to play until he can't play anymore, and then find the most comfortable spot in the sun to lay out in. And that's why we built the bed where he's lounging.
But even now, you can see he's not just sleeping in that bed. He's rubbing his chin against the bamboo, rolling around, scratching his belly. For Ricky, it's just another place to play."
If Ricky hadn't been rescued he'd have been destined for a bear bile farm in China - facing daily painful extractions. Thankfully now he'll never know a single day of cruelty.