Meet the Bears
Free the bears now cares for 23 bears at the Tat Kuang Si rescue centre near Luang Prabang in Lao PDR.
Most of the bears arrive at the rescue centre as very young cubs having been confiscated by the Lao Government from illegal poaching and trading. It is likely that they would otherwise have been destined for a life of torture in a "bile farm" outside of Laos.
All 23 of our bears are Asiatic Black Bears.
Let us introduce you to a few of our bears:
|Kayasin (Born in 2003) - Kayasin or ‘Big Sin’ as we call him was confiscated as a young cub by the forestry department in Luang Prabang province at the same time as his sister, Damm.
Kayasin, Damm and Noy were the first three bears to find a home at Tat Kuang Si and Kaysin is now the oldest (and the biggest!) bear cared for at the centre. He's an extremely gentle bear, but is still very much the boss and when Kayasin wants to relax in the pool or climb a particular tree all the other bears make way for him.
In Lao, Kayasin means "acrobat" and, despite his size, he is very nimble, enjoys climbing and is just at home on two legs as he is four. He also has one of the largest and most beautiful crests we have ever seen which makes it very easy to see why Asiatic Black Bears are often called "Moon Bears".
| Kham (Born in 2004) - Kham was confiscated by the forestry department in Luang Prabang province along with her brother Deng.
Kham means ‘Gold’ in Lao and she is certainly very precious to us. She is quite an elegant bear with a long slender face and beautiful piercing eyes that convey a great deal of emotion and intensity.
She is particularly skilled with her front paws and is the master of extracting food from the barrel feeders and other tricky enrichment pieces. She also enjoys playing on the tyre and chair swings, particularly if she can get one of the others to join her.
| Vieng (Born in 2005) - Vieng is a five year old male confiscated from Viengkham district as a young cub - which is where he gets his name.
He was extremely traumatised when he was brought to the centre and was very nervous and shy for some time but has now blossomed into a very confident and happy adolescent male.
He has a very pretty crest marking and a gentle face with a mischievous glint in his eyes. Agile and inquisitive he enjoys playing with Xai and climbing one of the large trees in their forested enclosure.
| Lom (Born in 2006) - Lom, which means ‘wind’ in Lao was confiscated as a cub by government officials in Bokeo province along with Fa and Dinh after a three day chase. They were caught very near to the border and are extremely lucky as had they not been rescued they would likely have been trafficked outside of Laos, sold to a bile farm and endured a life of torture.
All three cubs arrived extremely malnourished and frightened after their ordeal and required round the clock care from the keepers to bring them back to life.
Lom is a lovely laid back bear with a particularly distinctive face and low set eyes. He used to be bossed around by his female companions but after some time with a larger group he has now started to assert himself and has grown in confidence.
He is a very slow eater as he likes to take time to savour every mouthful but has learned that during the lunchtime scatter feed it's every bear for himself and this approach is not always sensible!
Currently at that teenager stage he is all arms and legs but looks set to grow into a beautiful big adult bear.
To sponsor any of our bears, please visit our online shop.