Bopha and Jam­ran’s jour­ney to safety

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

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.

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