Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre was established by Free The Bears Fund Inc. in 2003 after local authorities confiscated three bear cubs and asked for assistance to help look after them. The rescue centre has continued to provide care for these bears and also accepted further bears that have been confiscated by the Lao authorities. Most of the bears at the centre are Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) that were illegally captured from the wild as young cubs – it is likely that they were destined for use in the traditional medicine trade.
The Sanctuary is situated within the beautiful Tat Kuang Si Park, a Provincial Protected Area approximately 30 Km from the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Luang Prabang. We are also fortunate enough to be just minutes from one of Laos most famous waterfalls - this location has helped us to become an extremely popular destination with both locals and international tourists. Visitors to the rescue centre are able to enjoy seeing one of Laos’ most endangered species and also learn about the threats to bears and how they can help to protect Laos’ precious wildlife. A program of extensions started in 2008 building viewing platforms for visitors, larger enclosures for the bears and allowing the fund to provide care for further confiscated bears.
The centre is currently run by a dedicated team of staff who care for the bears on a daily basis. Our bears enjoy large forested enclosures, cool fresh water streams and pools (fed by the nearby waterfall) and, of course, lots of play and enrichment items to keep them fully occupied!