Sun bear cub found in blue box
On October 20, 2014, the Tatai Patrol Station in the Southern Cardamoms received a phone call from an informant about a sun bear cub that was being held captive in an area 70 km north of Koh Kong Town. The team left immediately to rescue the bear and called upon the Koh Pao Patrol unit for assistance. When the rangers arrived, they surrounded the house and asked the owner for permission to check the property. The owner agreed, and a full search was conducted, but no bear was found. The rangers decided to search a nearby hut, where they located a blue container. Inside the blue container was a tiny bear cub, no more than 6 months old! Unfortunately, the owner of the hut was nowhere to be found, and neighbors informed the rangers that he only visited the property occasionally. The rangers will continue to investigate the matter in order to identify and arrest the hunter. The bear was taken back to the station, and was transferred the next day to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center for care.
Sun bears and other Asian bear species are being brutally targeted by poachers in Cambodia for their body parts which are used in traditional medicine. Because of this active trade in bears and bear parts, their populations - especially in Southeast Asia - have been decimated. The demand for bear parts on the international black market is high and poachers and traffickers can fetch a high price for paws, bile, and gallbladders. Adult bears are poached for their paws - considered a delicacy in soup. Cubs are torn from their mothers and sold into the pet trade. When they get bigger they end up imprisoned in tiny cages or sold to bile farms in Vietnam. Bear "farms" keep the bears caged and alive, while their gall bladder and bile is harvested and sold as traditional medicine.
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Rangers searching hut, where they noticed the bin
Tatai station with rescued cub