Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rescued sun bear cub enjoys a bubble bath

Orphaned by poachers, rescued from traffickers, sun bear cub Murphy arrived at Animals Asia’s Vietnam sanctuary as a whimpering six-week old cub just under a year ago. And if it hadn’t been for his rescuers there’s every chance he’d have spent his life in pain on a bear bile farm. Animals Asia cares for almost 400 bears rescued from the bile industry.

Since then Animals Asia have helped turn his life around. The bubble bath is part of his on-going “enrichment”. A large part of that care, in sanctuaries in China and Vietnam, is about keeping minds active, which means new foods, smells and toys on a daily basis. For cubs, experience has shown that a bubble bath, of a “no tears” baby variety, is just fascinating and lots of fun too.

Annemarie Weegenaar, Animals Asia Vietnam Bear and Vet Team Director explained: “It’s very funny to watch but there’s a serious reason behind providing the bubbles. Without their mother and without a safe place to release bears like Murphy, they will spend their lives in sanctuaries. From day one that means not just making sure they eat well and are free from pain.

YouTube link. Additional YouTube video of Murphy still learning to walk soon after his rescue.

“It also means ensuring they are physically and mentally challenged and each day is different. That means hiding treats for them to sniff out, it also means new toys or climbing frames. It means different greenery during different seasons for them to eat and nest with. For cubs it also means the occasional bubble bath. Choosing a brand usually used for children’s bath times means it won’t sting his eyes or make him sick. He has so much fun.”

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