The Free the Bears association has been fighting for the protection of Asian bears, and Tibet bears in particular, since 1995.
Today, the Tibetan bear is classified as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List (2016), due to the loss of its habitat but above all to the poaching for its gallbladder.
Free the Bears saves bears from poachers and helps rehabilitate them The association works with local communities and governments in Asia to raise awareness about the illegal trade in wild animals and to put an end to the trade of bear bile, used in Chinese medicine.
The association has also helped build several sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to take care of bears rescued from illegal trade. These centers provide them with healthy food, veterinary care, activities, and adapted habitats.
A research program has been set up to improve the understanding of wild bear populations and the threats they face, in order to enhance their well-being and protection. The association also develops methods to monitor wild populations and employs local villagers to patrol and remove snares used to capture bears.
We support Free the Bears’ “Walk for Wildlife” project. This is a sponsored walk for local people in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park. Participants will be invited to find a sponsor to walk with and the funds will be used to finance medical expenses an equipment for the bear sanctuary. The endowment fund contributes to this project by covering the costs of marketing material, day-of coordinators, T-shirts and refreshments for runners.