Spend a Night in a Cage and help Free the Bears
It’s back! A Night in a Cage is back for its third year, as Free the Bears work to raise funds to help rescue bears held in terrible conditions and give them sanctuary.
Free the Bears has helped rescue over 950 sun bears, moon bears and sloth bears, and it gives on-going care to hundreds of sun bears and moon bears at its sanctuaries in Cambodia, Leos and Vietnam. And it leads campaigns in Cambodia and Leos to educate locals about the illegal wildlife trade and increase wildlife awareness. In the last year alone, it has rescued 23 bears.
Why a Night in a Cage?
Well, Free the Bears rescue many moon bears and sun bears who have spent years and some have spent decades standing on metal bars. They are locked in tiny cages and mutilated for bile extraction.
So the idea behind a night in a cage is that you get an idea of what it must be like to spend time in a small cage and that you raise awareness and funds to help these endangered bears. You can do this any time in May although lots of people are going for the 14th May as their night in a cage.
Dr Mary Hutton, Founder of Free the Bears, will be spending a night in a cage on the 14th May 2022. She is an incredible woman, having firstly taken action to help rescue bears and to tell the public what was happening, then founding Free the Bears and now, at the age of 82 or 83, actually spending a night in a cage to help raise funds for them!
You can see what past participants got up to through this You Tube video here, so that you get a better idea of what people did.
6 Ways to help Free the Bears
- Spend a night in a cage during the month of May and get people to sponsor you for doing it. You can find out more and sign up here.
- You can make your “cage” of anything – it could be a cardboard box, a tent – one past participant has used her aviary!
- Sponsor Dr Mary Hutton for her night in a cage
- Visit Free the Bears’ website and look for ways to help such as donating a gift to the bears (ranging from things like a pot of honey to a new hammock or pool to paddle in)
- You could sponsor a bear or be a bear carer, which involves a monthly donation (there are different amounts for bear carers)
- Spreading the word (which you could do in addition to any number of the above). However much you raise, it will all help – and you’ll also crucially help raise awareness of the plight of so many bears and how you can help.
The more money raised, the more bears Free the Bears can help!
Helping bears in the wild
As well as rescuing bears from captivity, Free the Bears’ have a research programme which was created to improve understanding of wild bear populations and the threats they face. The programme also aims to assess and improve the welfare of bears in Free the Bears’ care.
The charity work with governments, universities and other institutions worldwide to end the exploitation of bears.
To better protect bears in the wild, the first task is to find out the current status of bear populations and habitats, and the threats they face. Then you can work out the areas where it might be possible to release bears back into the wild. Free the Bears are working with host countries to develop ways to monitor wild bear populations, and its conducted training for Bear Sign Surveys in protected areas of Cambodia and Vietnam and undertaken research on bear habitats in Lao PDR. They have been involved in direct protection of wild bears in Lao PDR.
In Laos, in the Nam Kan National Protected Area, they have employed locals to remove snares that have been set to catch bears and other animals. And they are working with local communities around Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area to work on techniques to reduce human-bear conflict, which arises because bears raid crops.