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Hanoi Circus Turns Over Last Four Show Bears to Animal Sanctuary in Sign of Changing Attitudes

The race in the limelight is over for a quartet of performing bears after a circus from Vietnam agreed to deliver them to a shrine.

Animals Asia had already campaigned for the release of two show bears, Sugar and spicy, named for their fiery personalities, and now the last 4 “moon bears” (Asian black bears) from the same circus called Ginger, Chili, Pepper and Saffron, have come to their sanctuary to reunite the “Spice Girls” in a holistic and wild environment where they can return to their natural state.

It is described as a change in attitude in Vietnam, where animal rights rarely prevail. The Spice Girls were all voluntarily surrendered as the circus admits that it is unethical to continue to use bears for acting.

The bears arrived at the organization’s sanctuary in Tam Dao on Tuesday, June 15. Upon arrival, a team of veterinarians and bear experts greeted them and did their preliminary health checks.

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“For the first time in years, these four beautiful bears will have access to wide, open spaces and will feel fresh, lush grass under their paws,” said Heidi Quine, director of the bear team and veterinarians at the Animals Asia sanctuary in Vietnam. “They will be able to express natural behaviors such as climbing, foraging, digging in the dirt, and playing with their new friends.”

Animals Asia has been pushing for an end to animal representation in zoos and circuses in Vietnam since 2014. Its campaign informed a decision by the Ministry of Culture that instructed circuses to end the use of animals in performances. 15 of which have already done so, while many more are eliminating them, increasing the number of bears in the sanctuary to 186.

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“This is a direct result of our tenacious but collaborative approach to working with authorities and communities,” said Tuan Bendixsen, Animals Asia director in Vietnam. “As we have seen over and over again, the only cure for many of the things we want to change in the world is kindness.”

(LOOK the rescue video below …)

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