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     Rescued bears in Việt Nam will have more living space with the inauguration of two houses with two semi-natural enclosures at Tam Đảo National Park bear reserve in the Northern province of Vĩnh Phúc. The two semi-natural enclosures cover a total area of more than 5,600 square metres and are connected through bear houses, which have a total area of 465 square metres with 13 large dens inside.

 

Three bears at the Việt Nam Bear Rescue Centre based in Tam Đảo National Park, Vĩnh Phúc province

 

     The construction of the Project started last September with a total investment of approximately VNĐ10 billion (US$ 440,000), financed by the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF). Dr. Tuan Bendixsen, Chief Representative of AAF Việt Nam, said the new houses, which have been significantly improved in comparison with older ones at the reserve, are able to accommodate 40 bears. AFF made efforts to ensure there were enough fully-intact green trees to provide shade in the semi-natural enclosures, and maintained the natural terrain and small hills in order to create space for bears’ activities. He also expressed his thanks to the management board of the Tam Đảo National Park and the Forest Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for their support in implementation of the Project.

     The Vietnam Bear Sanctuary is the largest international-standard bear rescue centre in Việt Nam. Five double bear houses and 10 semi-natural enclosures have been built there so far, providing homes for 161 bears. The country’s wild bear population has declined sharply over the past 20 years, according to recent surveys carried out in 22 protected areas. Interviews with over 1,400 residents living next to the protected areas indicate that the bear population declined between 1990 and 2005, mainly due to hunting. 

 

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