Mary can’t bear the suf­fer­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page -

SOUTH PERTH SEE­ING a bear trapped in a cage in China hav­ing its bile painfully re­moved on TV an­gered Mary Hut­ton so much she ded­i­cated her life to sav­ing bears.

The 76-year-old Stir­ling res­i­dent has been sav­ing bears for the past 22 years since she founded Free the Bears in 1993.

In that time, Mary has suc­cess­fully put an end to the danc­ing bear tourist trade in In­dia, res­cued sun and Asi­atic black bears, con­structed sanc­tu­ar­ies in three coun­tries and she is not stop­ping there.

“In Cam­bo­dia we man­aged to build quite a few sanc­tu­ar­ies, just out­side Ph­nom Penh at the Ph­nom Ta­mao Wildlife Res­cue Cen­tre,” Mary said.

“We have come a long way since we first vis­ited Cam­bo­dia in 1998 and have built many sanc­tu­ar­ies for sun bears and Asi­atic black bears. Many of those bears come from the il­le­gal wildlife trade, mar­kets and restau­rants where they had their paws chopped off for soup,” she said.

Mary is a key speaker at the Perth Zoo’s Wild Women event this week with all pro­ceeds go­ing to help Perth Zoo save wildlife.

“Our next project will be to build a new bear sanc­tu­ary in Viet­nam, which will cost about half a mil­lion dol­lars, so we will be look­ing for spon­sors and dona­tions.

“Peo­ple are wel­come to in­di­vid­u­ally spon­sor a bear for a year or six months and fol­low their progress,” she said.

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