This is Shamrock she came into the Animal Asia sanctuary in January with 5 other bears. This is a bear that has been caged for most of her life and suffered pain through bile extraction. She was encouraged out of her indoor enclosure by placing food tidbits hidden in various places. What is she interested in? it's the sky, that marvellous blue thing above her head that fills her world of freedom as the food fills her belly.
As I have watched the photos of these poor maligned bears on facebook, the thing that is so impressive is their gentle natures as they adjust, sometimes after many years, to this new natural world outside the realm of their caged existences.
This a video of Peter, very reluctant at first to leave the shelter of his indoor den, and the report by the sanctuary's vet Vic...
"After his tentative first steps Peter’s courage has grown with each passing day and he is now enjoying the whole area and what it has to offer. He’s moving log and rock piles and learning to forage for the goodies hidden by staff as he follows their scent around the enclosure.
“He enjoys stretching to retrieve food hidden by the team in log walls or on the firehose hammock. His steady character has served him well through the whole process of rehabilitation. His long body is also beginning to fill out and we are now getting a glimpse of a magnificent adult male bear he was born to be. He had his monthly weigh-in this week and is now a healthier 124 kg opposed to the 107 kg he was in January shortly after arriving. This gentle giant of a bear really is learning and experiencing that life can be good.”
This film, taken by Bear Team Supervisor Ai, captures Peter walking round his enclosure on a beautiful day, birds singing and butterflies fluttering - following a trail of treats laid out by staff trying to encourage him to forage as he explores. Peter is becoming increasingly brave - even doing his best to ignore an occasionally noisy neighbour in the next enclosure."