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November 30, 2021, 5:10 pm

Who deprives the bears’ home?

(15:36:08 PM 30/10/2012)
( - AAF, the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) has transmitted SOS signals, entreating help to protect a bear rescue project.

Only Tibetan and Malayan bears have existed in Vietnam. Despite the biodiversity research works over the last decade, scientists still cannot give the exact answer to the question about how many bear individuals still live in the forests.

However, it’s well known to everyone that forest rangers and international animal conservation organizations have spent a lot of exertion and money in the last seven years to protect the bears from the extinction risk.

Therefore, it is really shocking news for them to hear that the Tam Dao Bear Rescue Center project would be suspended.

The second home of the bears…

A program on attaching chips to bears for easier control was kicked off in 2005, after which, the government agencies stated that 4300 bear individuals were attached with chips.

However, on the “Vietnam’s Bear Day”--September 13, forest ranger units reported that there are 2300 bear individuals with chips. Meanwhile, no one can give the exact answer about the status of the other 2000 bears. State management agencies have been keeping silent.

As such, it is obvious that the number of bears existing has decreased rapidly. In such conditions, the establishment of a bear rescue center has been suggested.

The Tam Dao Bear Rescue Center has been established within the framework of an international cooperation project approved by the Prime Minister. The project has been implemented with the non-refundable aid from AAF, while the second phase of the project alone costs 3,037,000 dollars.

Covering an area of 12 hectares, it is expected to be a place, where the rescued bears would be taken the semi-wild care before they return to the wild. 

High hopes were put on the project, which was believed to give a hand to the program on wildlife protection in the context of the limited budget.

… would not exist

Phan Thi Thuy Trinh from AAF on October 12 affirmed that AAF has received the notice from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on stopping the implementation of the Tam Dao bear rescue center and removing the 104 rescued bear individuals out from the Chat Dau valley, belonging to the Tam Dao National Park.

Trinh said that the 104 bears are being taken care at the center and they are recovering after a long period of living in captivity. If they are relocated, they would have to return to cages, which would badly affect their health and psychology. Some of them would certainly die, because it would take at least two more years to build a center with the semi-wild conditions like the Tam Dao one.

In its report, MARD said it has agreed with the Ministry of National Defense on stopping the bear rescue project, reasoning the national defense.

However, the explanation does not satisfy the conservationists. A question has been raised that why the project developers were not warned about this before, when they drew up the project. Why has the decision made only after a lot of money had been poured into the project?

The director of the Tam Dao national park, who is the Vietnamese co-developer of the project, has become the main portrait in the articles published on local newspapers. 

The director, at first, was described as the person who worked actively for the project approval, but later, is considered as the person who tries to shatter the project.

Local newspapers have quoted their sources as saying that the director is now more interested in a business project in Tam Dao area, which promises to bring a fat profit to him.


By Thien Nhien

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