17/07/2018 10:38 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam gets encouraging results from wildlife protection

For the last decade, Vietnam has adopted policies and actions to fulfill its commitments to protecting rare and endangered wildlife, which is highly valued by the international community.
Changing community awareness

We joined the Animals Asia Foundation on a visit to Phung Thuong commune in Phuc Tho district, Hanoi, to advocate the protection of bears.

For the last ten years, Phung Thuong has been known as the largest bear bile farming locality in the north. At peak time, this commune reported as many as 59 farms raising a total of 325 bears.

According to Animals Asia Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixen, to change the community awareness is the most important way to protect wild animals.

For the past three years, Animals Asia Vietnam has collaborated with the local administration to monthly conduct communication about bear protection in a target locality. Under this communication program, local people are each given a bottle of Vietnamese herbal medicine that gives an effect similar to bear bile. This herbal medicine has helped reduce the use of bear bile in the community.

The program has largely changed the actions of people in Phung Thuong. By April, the number of bears in Phung Thuong commune had decreased to 173, all of which are microchipped.








Kept in small and unhygienic cages, all bears in Phung Cong commune have shed their fur and suffer from skin diseases.
Photo: Cong Dat / VNP



A girl reads information about protecting bears at Tam Dao Bear Rescue Center. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP


 Hanoi Health Council and Tam Dao Bear Rescue Center jointly organize monthly communication sessions to advocate
protecting bears in target localities during which locals receive free medical check-ups and medicines.
Photo: Cong Dat / VNP



Feeding Kim, a rescued baby pangolin. Photo: Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center’s files.


Animal health workers from Animals Asia check the health of a rescued tiger.
Photo: Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Center’s files



Staff of the Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center count the pangolins received from the authorities.
Photo: Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center’s files.



Two bears rescued by Four Paws Viet and the Forest Management Sub-Department of Ninh Binh province in April 2018.
The bears had been kept for commercial purposes for 20 years. Photo: Ngoc Thanh



A binturong is released into its natural habitat after it recovers its natural functions.
Photo: Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center’s files

Rescue and protection

Since 1996, Vietnam has established a center for wildlife rescue and forest protection in Tien Duoc commune, Soc Son district, Hanoi, to rescue wild animals on a national scale. The center is now regarded as the largest “hospital” for wild animals nationwide.

Director Ngo Ba Oanh said his center has for the last 12 years received nearly 100 species of wild animals many of which are rare and endangered.



Located in the buffer zone of Tam Dao National Park, the Tam Dao Bear Rescue Center opened in April 2008.
The 1.2 ha center with an investment of over 3.3 million US dollars can accommodate 200 bears.
Photo: Cong Dat / VNP



Doctor Cahalane and other vets from Animals Asia do surgery on Zebedee, a moon bear rescued from a bile farm
in Thua Thien-Hue by Animals Asia. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP



Cleaning the bear facilities. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 
 

The center is housing 274 individual animals of 31 species, including 39 tigers, 24 bears, primates such as gibbons and monkeys, and amphibians and reptiles.

It has worked with national parks, including Cat Tien, Ba Be, Cat Ba and Bu Gia Map, and Huong Son special-use forest to release wild animals into the natural environment.

While visiting the center we saw Cam, a tiger which was rescued in an animal smuggling case in 2008.

Oanh said that Cam suffered from a serious case of pneumonia and was very skinny when taken to the center. Oanh consulted specialists from Animals Asia and Wildlife Conservation Society for treatment but their answers were that this case was hopeless.

Not giving up, Oanh and his colleagues at the center tried different methods to cure Cam who finally recovered after three months.


Vietnam now has many wildlife rescue and conservation centers across the country, which meet regional and international standards. These centers are regarded as natural homes for animals to recover their natural habits and reflexes and integrate into their natural habitat.

Starting operation in April 2008, Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Tam Dao National Park, Vinh Phuc province, is a sanctuary for protecting wild animals. With an investment of 3.3 million US dollars, the 1.2-hectare center can accommodate 200 bears.

Chom Chom, a bear, was caged in a container in Binh Duong province for a long time and suffered from serious mental illness when he was taken to the Bear Rescue Center in Tam Dao. He gradually recovered after living here in a semi wild environment with other bears.


Little turtles at the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center receive calcium-added food for shell growth.
Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 



A health worker at the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center applies medicine to a diseased turtle.
Photo: Cong Dat / VNP  



Turtles are nursed in a semi wild environment at the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 


Two small monkeys who have just been rescued are afraid of strangers. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP


The helmeted hornbill, a critically endangered bird species with an ivory casque (helmet like structure on the head), has a commercial value three to five times that of ivory and is subject to rampant illegal trade. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP


 
Nguyen Ba Oanh with Cam. Photo: Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Center’s files.


A foreign volunteer and a health worker from the Center do a medical check on a pangolin. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP


 
A pangolin has just had surgery to remove a decayed part of its tail by vets from
the Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 



The center annually releases carnivores into their natural environment.
Photo: Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center’s files



Red-shanked doucs at the Cuc Phuong Endangered Primates Rescue Center. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP


The Cuc Phuong Endangered Primates Rescue Center is home to six endangered primate species.
Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 

The Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh province is home to three major wildlife conservation centers.

First is the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, which is nursing 165 animals from 15 species. The animals include six critically endangered primates. Some of these are the Delacour’s langur, Ha Tinh langur, Laotian langur, Indochinese black langur, Cat Ba white-headed langur and the gray-shanked douc.

Second is the Asian Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center, which is raising 14 Owston’s palm civets and binturongs. The center has successfully bred Owston’s palm civets in semi wild conditions. It is also caring for 67 individual pangolins and is able to breed this species in a semi wild habitat, which is a big success because raising pangolins is difficult.

Last is the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center, which is caring for over 600 turtles. The center is home to the world’s largest population of pond turtles with 260, and Vietnam’s largest population of big-head turtles. The center has successfully bred 900 turtles of 15 species.

According to director Do Than Hao, his center is leading in the breeding of endangered Bourret’s box turtle in a semi wild environment
./.

Vietnam has done many intergovernmental agreements on wildlife protection, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Global Tiger Forum (GTF); the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI); and the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN).

 
Story: Thao Vy Photos:  Tran Cong Dat & Files