Hanoi circus hands over baby bears after audience complaints

By Sen    April 25, 2019 | 05:08 pm PT
Hanoi circus hands over baby bears after audience complaints
Two baby bears that have been freed after eight months performing for Hanoi Central Circus. Photo courtesy of Animals Asia
Two one-year-old bears have been freed from performing for the Hanoi Central Circus after complaints from local and foreign viewers.

They were released after performing for eight months at the circus and were transfered to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc Province, 68 km north of Hanoi, on Wednesday.

The rescue process was carried out with the help of the animal rights organization Animals Asia, which was informed by several domestic and international visitors that they saw the cubs being used to perform. 

Because the animals are quite active and the location was not convenient for them to move from one cage to another, the bears were anesthetized. The whole process lasted five hours.

The Animal Asia Foundation has named the two female bears Spice and Sugar. They were given a quick physical examination on site. Spice is heavier, at about 50 kg and has a scar on the right limb, possibly due to being trapped in the wild. Sugar weighs 36 kg. Veterinarian Kate Shipton of Animal Asia said they were in good health and will be monitored further at the rescue center.

Last May, the Asia for Animal Coalition sent a letter to Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism saying that many animals held in Vietnam for circus performances were suffering animal abuse. It asked the authorities to punish circuses for using endangered animals and called for blanket ban on all wildlife in circus performances.

Ton Toan Thang, deputy director of Vietnam Circus Federation, said that the description in the letter was "exaggerated," and that the federation carefully regulates the use of wild animals in circus performances.

go to top