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FOUR PAWS activities in Vietnam


FOUR PAWS has been researching the issue of Asian black bears in Vietnam for a long time. In recent years, the work of local and international NGOs and the pressure they have applied have brought about significant change, and a drastic reduction in the number of bears kept on farms. However, around 1200 bears are still living in entirely inappropriate and sometimes gruesome (private) keeping.

How bears were kept at Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre Soc Son before FOUR PAWS’ stepped in to help

Since 2015, FOUR PAWS has been supporting the state-run Wildlife Rescue Centre Soc Son near Hanoi, to improve the living conditions of the 15 former bile bears living there. With FOUR PAWS’ help, a new facility with a 1000m² outdoor enclosure has been built for the bears. The generously equipped facility features a grassed area, places to hide away, water pools, and play objects, which the keepers regularly stuff with food to keep the bears busy.


FOUR PAWS has also taken on two keepers to train the staff at the rescue centre, and to look after the bears appropriately.

How bears live at Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre Soc Son now that FOUR PAWS has had the facility rebuilt


FOUR PAWS’ vital work in Vietnam also includes environmental education and awareness-raising campaigns and events. The aim is to inform the Vietnamese population in general – particularly the young people – about the problem of bile bears, so as to further decrease demand for bear bile products in the country. In the area of environmental education, FOUR PAWS is working with a local organisation, “Education for Nature Vietnam” (ENV), and is already supporting an environmental education programme in several schools in the province of Ninh Binh.

School class in Ninh Binh
© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin