Bopha and Jamran’s journey to safety
AFTER being rescued from Cambodia on the brink of a cruel fate, Perth Zoo’s resident sun bears Bopha and Jamran have come a long way.
Both animals were rescued by the Free the Bears Fund then took up residency at Perth Zoo in early 2007.
Zoo keeper Petra Hancock said 16-year-old sun bear Jamran had narrowly avoided death.
“Jamran was found tied to a stake and the people in Cambodia were going to eat him,” Ms Hancock said.
“Bear paw soup is a delicacy.
“Free the Bears got hold of him and rescued him but his mental scars run deep. It takes him a long time to trust anybody.”
Bopha, who is about 14 years old, began her life as a Cambodian house pet.
“You don’t just find bear cubs in the wild so she would have been ripped from her mum, and I don’t think her mum would have survived,” Ms Hancock said.
While Perth Zoo keepers have worked to develop trust from the bears, Ms Hancock said their stressful pacing behaviour was a remnant of their past hardships.
“Behaviour is developed in the early years and Jamran in particular had it very tough,” she said.
“But they are just so quick to learn and so smart. When we want to teach them things we use strawberries or kiwi fruit... it’s like the chocolate of the bear world.”
Perth Zoo’s Jamran.