The Kerulos Center dedicates itself to the creation of a new ethical and cultural paradigm where animals are brought into equal partnership with humanity as co-creators of knowledge and community. Kerulos has initiated a project to bring concepts of trans-species psychology to bear on predator conservation. See Conservation in Community with Bears to see how Kerulos is educating people about prejudices against predators.

Bear Enrichment

Ursa Freedom Project members have asked for information about the rehabilitation of Moon Bears that are rescued from bile farms and housed at Animals Asia's bear sanctuaries. This is a complex issue, but Animals Asia masters the explanation. The Animals Asia website discusses general husbandry and management practices for Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears), including the “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare that are used by governments and animal organizations worldwide as a basis for assessing captive animal welfare:

* Freedom from hunger and thirst
* Freedom from discomfort
* Freedom from pain, injury or disease
* Freedom to express normal behavior
* Freedom from fear or distress
Read more

Meet Jasper, the UFP Mascot

This is Jasper, happy as a lark in his hammock at the Animals Asia Foundation bear sanctuary in Chengdu, China.

You may recognize Jasper from the Living Free poster that's on the Ursa Freedom Project network, and here in the right column. You’re going to start seeing a lot of Jasper at UFP, now that Animals Asia has given us the great joy and privilege of letting him be our mascot. Jasper’s story is one of shocking disbelief and awe. As our mascot he sounds the clarion call to each and every one of us to pull together to end bile farming once and for all.

Jasper spent 15 years in this crush cage, literally pinned to the bars, before being rescued by Animals Asia. Barely large enough for his body, the cage was equipped with a crush bar that allowed the bile farmer to press Jasper to the bottom of the cage to make draining his bile easier. Upon arrival at Animals Asia, Jasper had to be cut from the coffin-sized crush cage that held him captive for 15 years.

From the moment he arrived at AAF, Jasper became everybody’s friend and had no time for horrible memories or revenge. It didn’t take long before he worked his way into the hearts of bears and people alike.

His rough and tumble play with best friends Banjo, Delaney, and Frank led to minor surgery on his mouth. While under anaesthesia the whole staff and volunteer crew lined up to stroke Jasper’s coarse black fur, laughing at his famous yellow eyebrows and admiring him for the thoroughly “nice” bear he is.

To keep the bears’ minds and bodies active, AAF hides food in tree cavities and balls, and ties fruit and vegetables onto tree limbs so the bears forage.

Here, Jasper forages for tomato strips in the forest. He also forages for honey and peanut butter (his favorite treat) inside a red ball that entertains him for hours. AAF doesn’t just rescue the bears from bile farms, they make sure their quality of life is as close to what it would be in the wild. Remember that Honey Money drive we had March 20? This is how you’re money was spent. We’ll be having another Honey Money drive as part of Earth Day, to give more bears like Jasper a new lease on life.

Looking at Jasper today, it’s hard to believe that when he was rescued, he was rake-thin and his fur was gone. His teeth were worn down from a stressful condition called bar biting, and he had a metal catheter implanted in his abdomen. Today, Jasper is fully recovered and has full strength and mental acuity. He has become AAF's poster child for new rescue missions, keeping us all mindful of the work we need to support.

Ursa Freedom Project will have ongoing progress reports on Jasper and his bear clan. Compiled from original text and photos from the Animals Asia website. Read more about bile farming.

Tiny Tyke Taurus

Another Moon Bear cub was rescued from traffickers in Vietnam on May 5. Ready to make the drive to Animals Asia, driver Quang gets to know his new passenger. The tiny tyke, named Taurus, is the smallest bear Animals Asia has ever taken on. Read all about it.

Lots of Happy, Liberated Bears

Ursa Freedom Project is a global campaign to liberate 9,000 bears from crush cages on bile farms in China. The intent is to move the bears from these torturous prisons to the country club at Animals Asia. Together we can do it.

Twice the Fun

Today Hans and Emma are happy bears, having found freedom at Animals Asia Foundation after being rescued from crush cages on a bile farm in China. Hans has a big wrinkly brown face and googly eyes, and very stylish white nails on his left forepaw. Emma is a hybrid moon bear/brown bear and a handsome boy with a vivacious character who loves making new friends. There are 9,000 more bears just like Hans and Emma who need to be liberated from crush cages. Join the Ursa Freedom Project and help free them.

Rescued Cub

Rescued bear cubs bring mirth to the staff and volunteers at the Animals Asia sanctuary. This little guy, along with two other tiny poached cubs, was enroute to a bear bile farm when it was rescued from a concealed compartment underneath a bus carriage, after a tip-off that the bus contained illegal wildlife.