The Story Behind Free the Bears UK
It’s a sad reality that animals have long suffered at the hands of humans who have prioritised economic gain and profit margins over compassion and love. Mary Hutton was watching a television programme one day in 1993, during which she witnessed for herself the horrific treatment of moon bears in bile farms in South East Asia. Upon further research, she realised that thousands of these beautiful creatures were held in coffin-sized cages, unable to move, and dirty catheters were inserted directly into the gall bladders in order to ‘milk’ their bile.
Seeing just how terrible the situation of these bears were, Mary Hutton wasted no time and leapt into action, campaigning tirelessly so that she could raise awareness of the plight of moon and sun bears. Through her dedication and commitment, the word began to spread, and people began making contributions to her cause.
Since the birth of the Free the Bears Charity in 1995, sanctuaries have been built in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Centuries old traditions which had long been using bears as commodities have been challenged and abolished. Through the work of this charity, they have been able to give hundreds of bears a life of tranquillity and peace, free from pain and suffering.
However, Free the Bears does not merely rescue bears and raise them in sanctuaries. The people working for this charity strive to address the root causes for this problem and implement permanent changes to society’s relationship with bears so that, eventually, the day can come when bears can live in the wild without fear of capture or interference. Some of the most serious threats faced by bears include deforestation and loss of habitat, the illegal wildlife trade as well as bile farming.
Free the Bears works with communities, organisations, educational institutions, governments and researchers in order to educate people and introduce long-term societal changes. Adapting their approach to the unique challenges and circumstances of the countries they work in, the message of Free the Bears is clear. Bears have long been robbed of the chance of living a life of freedom in their natural habitats, and it’s time that we strive to protect and preserve these magnificent creatures so that they can live the life they deserve, and have been denied for so long.