Please make a tax deductible donation to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears:
-donate on line using your credit card
-create a personal fundraising page and get your friends to help
-download details of the appeal and a pledge form
-other ways to help
Your contribution will help Free the Bears protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears. Through the creation and on-going support of world-class sanctuaries for the placement of rescued bears Free the Bears supports government authorities in the battle against the illegal wildlife trade which poses the single greatest threat to the survival of globally threatened Sun bears, Sloth bears and Moon bears.
Matt Hunt, CEO, Free the Bears, lecture at Sydney Uni, 19.9.12
Matt Hunt, CEO of Free the Bears, only Sydney Lecture, Wednesday 19 September.
Matt left the UK in the year 2000 after having worked in zoos and wildlife parks for more than 10 years. Pursuing his dream to help conserve the world’s threatened wildlife, he came to South-East Asia and has spent the past 12 years developing wildlife rescue centres, training wildlife law enforcement teams and creating environmental education programs to increase environmental awareness amongst local adults and children. Currently based in Cambodia, Matt oversees Free The Bear’s field projects in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as well as partnerships in India, Indonesia and Thailand.
Matt will be sharing his experiences with wildlife conservation in Asia, reliving some of the success stories that he has enjoyed plus the challenges that lie ahead. Matt’s presentation is one of a series by Wildlife Asia. His presentation on the work of Free the Bears follows a lecture at Taronga Zoo by Leif Cocks, President of The Orangutan Project and a cocktail party at Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney by Tim Flannery and Peter Hall, Patrons of the Asian Rhino project.
To learn more about the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears please use the link below to book tickets for his only Sydney lecture, 6.00-6.45pm, Wednesday 19 September at Carslaw Building, Level 1, Lecture theatre 159, Off Eastern Avenue, Sydney University, Camperdown.
Location: http://lostoncampus.com.au/4302 (see map top right of screen)
Tickets $10pp at wildlifeasia.org.au then Appeals then Free the Bears
or book via Scott Lyall on 0499 773 303
Armadale boy has heart of gold to save bears
2 Sep 12 @ 06:00am by Holly McKay, Stonnington Leader Newspaper VIC
Kobe Gold 10 from Armadale helped raise $2500 to name and sponsor a bear from the Free the Bears sanctuary in Laos. Picture: STEVEN CRABTREE.
AN Armadale boy is urging Stonnington residents to help save the bears after learning about the horrific living environments while on a family holiday last year.
Since visiting Laos, Kobe Gold has spent all his spare time raising money and awareness about the Free the Bears sanctuary.
The 10-year-old even went without birthday presents, asking family and friends to instead donate money, raising $2500 to save an orphaned bear which has been named after him.
Kobe, who attends Mount Scopus Memorial College, said he couldn’t believe people would mistreat bears.
“I realised that soon if people keep acting like that there won’t be any more animals,” he said. ”So I started raising money to try and help all the bears.”
Kobe said he hoped people realised they needed to help now before it was too late.
“People need to act now or there won’t be any others.”
16.8.12 Australian Jewish News coverage of Kobe the boy
To donate to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears visit www.wildlifeasia.org.au then appeals then bears.
3.8.12 Wondering how our rescued bear got the name Kobe?
He was named after a boy in Melbourne who donated $2,500.
Here is the letter from Kobe the Boy that led to the rescue of Kobe the Bear.
Kobe will be making a presentation at his school assembly on 8 August.
To: Free the Bears
On our holiday we went to Singapore, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam and one
of my favourite places was Free the Bears. The reason I liked Free the Bears so much was because I learnt about the bears natural habitat and how badly many people treat Bears. I felt really bad for the Bears but the one i felt most sad for was named Champer who was blind, sick, and had lost her brother a few weeks earlier. I loved seeing the baby cubs playing and being so friendly with each other.
I learnt how important organisations like Free the Bears are as they help animals who can’t help themselves and who have been hurt by people.
I decided that I would like to raise money to adopt a bear cub in Laos and save his/her life. It would make me feel amazing to know that I have helped a bear to survive.
From Kobe Gold
28.6.12 Rescue of ‘Kobe’ the bear in Laos
Little Kobe is extremely lucky to be alive. Only five months old, this baby Asian Moon bear watched his mother being shot by poachers and then suffered a three day ordeal as he was taken by poachers and hidden in the forest in northern Laos.
He is the first Moon bear to be rescued this year by Free the Bears, a member of Australia’s newest wildlife conservation group Wildlife Asia.
With wild Moon bear populations in rapid decline, and more than 10,000 Moon bears being held in farms throughout Asia, Kobe was destined to a life of captivity in the illegal bear bile trade or even worse to be sold for body parts used in traditional Asian medicine.
To find out more and to donate to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears visit www.wildlifeasia.org.au
Free the Bears Laos programme staff Bounsavath, Jantai and Sumthone.
Kobe the bear. Matt Hunt, CEO, Free the Bears
Sengdone, Head of the Bokeo Provincial Office of Forest Inspection, and Lamnung, Bokeo Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office.
Baby Moon Bear survives terrifying ordeal
A young male Moon bear cub, thought to be only five months old, has survived a terrifying ordeal after its mother was shot and killed. The cub was rescued after Forest Guards were alerted that a hunter had shot and killed a female bear in the Nam Kan National Protected Area in northern Laos. Little Kobe, as he has been named by his rescuers, arrived at the Australian supported Free the Bears Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre in the early hours of the morning after a dramatic rescue by the Lao forestry officials.
A team of three men was dispatched to investigate and detain the hunter, however when they reached the village they discovered that a live cub had been captured and hidden in the forest. Following a 2-day stake-out of the village, the terrified Kobe was finally recovered in an ambush, although the hunter managed to flee into the forest to evade arrest. Had he not been found the cub would have been sold into an illegal bear bile farm or his body parts supplied for the traditional Asian medicine trade.
Matt Hunt, Chief Executive of Free the Bears commented: “Moon bears and their babies in Laos are increasingly under threat from poaching and the bile trade. Kobe is the 26th bear to arrive at the rescue centre since it was established in 2003, and the first bear to be rescued this year.”
“Thanks to the Australian public who donate much-needed funds, and the dedication of officers in Laos, we were able to save this little bear cub from a fate almost certainly worse than death.”
Moon bears are captured by poachers and sold into highly lucrative bear bile farms in Laos or neighbouring Vietnam where they are held in captivity for the rest of their lives. It is unknown how many Moon bears survive in the wild in Laos, although their numbers are known to be in rapid decline due to illegal hunting and habitat loss. Kobe is one of the fortunate ones and is now being cared for by Free the Bears staff, receiving around-the-clock feeds and recovering from his ordeal.
This latest rescue serves as a timely reminder of the threats facing Laos’ bears as market demand for live bears is increasing to supply the illegal trade in their body parts or to replenish stock in bear bile farms throughout the region. Recent surveys conducted by Free the Bears in Bokeo province in Laos uncovered evidence of rapidly rising prices being paid for bears and their body parts, leading to sophisticated capture methods for wild bears and some villages reporting more than 20 bears having been killed or captured from the area each year.
Free the Bears is this week supporting Bokeo Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office staff to increase patrols around villages in Nam Kan PPA, removing snares that have been set to capture bears and other wildlife. Free the Bears also works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestrys’ Department of Forest Inspection to ensure that bear bile farming is not allowed to spread unchecked within Laos.
To find out more and to donate to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears visit www.wildlifeasia.org.au
Notes for editors:
- The Moon bear (Ursus thibetanus) is also known as the Asiatic black bear, or Himalayan black bear. It can be found in eighteen countries across Asia, ranging from south-eastern Iran to Japan, and is considered to be Vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN.
- Moon bears are targeted by hunters for their skin, paws and gallbladders, from which bile is obtained for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The illegal killing of bears, combined with widespread habitat loss, is causing rapid and widespread population declines, especially in China and Southeast Asia.
- The commercial farming of thousands of Moon bears in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Myanmar and Laos for bile extraction has no demonstrated conservation value.
- The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is Lao P.D.R’s only dedicated sanctuary for the placement of rescued bears. Free the Bears have been working with the Luang Prabang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office since 2003 to develop a world-class sanctuary for rescued Sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) and Moon bears, which are the only two bear species to be found in Lao P.D.R.
- Free the Bears is a member of Australia’s newest wildlife conservation group Wildlife Asia.
- Donations to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears are tax deductible
- To find out more and to donate to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears visit www.wildlifeasia.org.au
Interviews are available with:
- Matt Hunt, CEO, Free the Bears, Cambodia, +855 (0) 12 719 498,
- Mary Hutton, Founder, Free the Bears, Perth, 0421 213 563
- Jeanette Akkanen, NSW Rep, Free the Bears, Sydney, 0421 109 166.
- Leif Cocks, President, Wildlife Asia, Perth, 0409 100 426
- Scott Lyall, Partnerships Mgr, Wildlife Asia, Sydney, 0499 773 303
Where would you rather be?
These photos describe the essential work being done by Australians across six Asian countries to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears.
Through the creation and on-going support of world-class sanctuaries for the placement of rescued bears, they support government authorities in the battle against the illegal wildlife trade which poses the single greatest threat to the survival of globally threatened Sun bears, Sloth bears and Moon bears.
They also support the protection of wild bear populations through a number of environmental education initiatives, sustainable alternative livelihood programs for impoverished families, protected area staff training courses, and ground-breaking conservation research programs to assist protected area managers in targeting interventions to aid wild bear populations.
You can help by supporting the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears
Free the Bears and Wildlife Asia have a gift for the most successful fundraiser for the appeal running until 30th June 2012.
The gift is a limited edition framed bear paw print impression. These are made during the medical inspections of the bears at the wildlife sanctuary and are only made available on special occasions.
Please follow the links below to:
-set up a personal fundraising page to encourage others to match your donation.
-make a donation with your credit card or mail us a cheque
Collect the most or make the largest donation and you get the print.
The appeal runs until 30th June 2012 and the recipient of the gift will be announced in the Wildlife Asia e-news in July 2012. Below are full details of the appeal.
5.6.12, Wildlife Asia ‘Tax Appeal’ for Free the Bears
Animal Welfare, Habitat Protection and Wildlife Conservation are all important issues throughout the year.
Sometimes it takes something urgent, emotional or tax deductible to make us act.
June 2012 is a time to consider:
- despite the farming of bears for their bile being outlawed in 2006, more than 3,500 bears are still thought to be incarcerated in farms throughout Vietnam.
- More than 400 Sloth bears in India, rescued from exploitation as “dancing” bears, require ongoing support and care in our sanctuaries.
- throughout Laos ground-breaking research mapping wild bear populations has to continue in order to guide conservation interventions.
- in Cambodia the world’s largest Sun bear sanctuary requires assistance to develop into a world-class educational facility whilst providing a safe home for orphaned bear cubs.
- similar essential work is being undertaken in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
We desperately need your help over the coming year to continue our programmes focusing on environmental education, wild bear research, vet care and sanctuary development.
To continue this essential work we need to raise over $400,000 for 2012-2013. With your help we know that we can ensure a safe future for Asia’s bears.
Donations to the Wildlife Asia appeal for Free the Bears are tax deductible and go straight to the Free the Bears Public Fund. With all administrative costs covered through memberships and merchandise sales, Free the Bears guarantees that 100% of your donation will be sent directly to our field programmes in Asia.
Please donate to the Wildlife Asia ‘Tax Appeal’ for Free the Bears before 30 June 2012.
Please click here:
to donate to our tax deductible appeal before 30 June 2012.
to create a personal fundraising page and ask your friends to match your donation
for the list of projects in 2012-2013
to see what our supporters, such as Rove McManus, say
for our latest news
to help us spread the message
to visit our projects in India