Can Tho reports no bears in captivity hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Free the Bears)

Hanoi (VNA) - By handing over the last captive bear to the bear rescue centre in Cat Tien National Park on May 29, the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has become the 22nd locality in the country with no captive bears.

This is the third delivery of captive bears from the beginning of the year, marking the efforts of the Government, Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) and partner organisations in ending bear captivity in the country.

ENV Vice Director Nguyen Phuong Dung said her organisation applauds the efforts made by municipal authorities in ending bear captivity in the locality.

She expressed her hope that more localities across the country will demonstrate their determination to free bears.

It is time to increase pressure on bear breeders, calling on them to stop profiting from illegally collecting bear bile, Dung said, stressing the need to eradicate the illegal collection and trading of bear bile.

In 2005, Vietnam reported more than 4,300 bears held in captivity in bear farms nationwide. With efforts from the Government, local authorities and wildlife protection oganisations, the number of captive bears dropped to 900 individuals by the end of 2017.

More and more owners of bear farms are voluntarily releasing their bears, showing the change in their awareness of the importance of protecting bears.

In 2005, a government programme was launched to stop this cruelty, and several legal documents were introduced to strengthen the management of the captive bear population. 

Many rescue centres and institutions were established to receive captive bears.

Vietnam is home to the Asian black bear and sun bear, which have been listed as vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.-VNA