Bear conservation centre opened in Ninh Binh province hinh anh 1The bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh province is opened on March 7 (Photo: VNA)

Ninh Binh (VNA) – Four Paws, an international animal welfare organisation, opened a bear sanctuary in Ky Phu commune of Nho Quan district, the northern province of Ninh Binh, on March 7.

The centre has a total area of 10ha, able to accommodate about 100 bears in a suitable semi-natural habitat.

The first phase of this facility, covering 3.6ha, has been completed. It is currently caring for 10 bears which used to be farmed for their bile, and two others which are victims of wildlife trafficking.

The sanctuary is now able to receive another 32 bears, and it will have enough space for over 70 bears by the end of this year.

It will be open to visitors for free as from March 8.

The opening of this facility is an important step towards improving animal welfare, especially for bears, and providing a safe semi-natural habitat for them to recover their natural behaviours, thus helping to end bear farming for bile and protect bears in the wild.

Four Paws estimates that there are about 800 bears, mostly Asiatic black bears, kept in poor conditions at 250 private farms in Vietnam at present.

Vice Chairman of the Ninh Binh People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Thach said since 2015, the province has assisted Four Paws to build the bear sanctuary in the area zoned for a national wild animal park. This is an example of wildlife rescue and care that Ninh Binh hopes to develop in the future.-VNA