Guide to Giving
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD

Free the Bears Fund Inc

Contact

Name: Matt Hunt

Position: CEO

Email: finance@freethebears.org.au

Address

5A Laga Court

Stirling

Perth 6021

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Our Mission / Objective

In 1993, whilst watching a current affairs TV program in Perth, Mary Hutton saw a segment that would change her life and hundreds of others.  The segment contained horrifying footage of Asiatic Black bears held in coffin sized cages unable to move or turn with dirty catheters inserted directly into their gall bladder. Mary learned that thousands of bears were being held in these horrifying conditions throughout Asia, regularly milked for their bile to feed the demand for bear bile to be used in traditional medicine. Gall bladders and bile have been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries, however the commercial farming of bears began recently in Korea during the 1980’s so that the bears could be milked for their bile repeatedly throughout their lives.

The next day, Mary drew up a petition and stood at the entrance of the local shopping mall collecting signatures to help “Free the Bears”. Within months, she had thousands of signatures, a regular group of like-minded supporters which became a committee, and plans to build on the momentum that had gathered into a force to help bears throughout the world. On the 23rd March 1995 Free the Bears Fund was registered as a not – for- profit charity. Word of Mary’s work spread as she delivered petitions to the Chinese Embassy in Canberra surrounded by schoolchildren and organised raffles, film nights and other events to raise awareness about the plight of Asia’s bears. Memberships and merchandise were sold to raise funds for overseas projects as requests for help started to arrive in the post.

One such request from an Australian businessman, John Stephens, in Cambodia led to Mary learning about the plight of the Sun bear, the world’s smallest and least-studied bear species. John Stephens had rescued a number of bears from Cambodian restaurants where they faced being butchered for bear paw soup but now his work was bringing him back toAustralia and the bears needed a new home. Mary organised for the Sun bears to be brought to Australia to start a regional breeding program and, recognising that there were more bears in need of help in Cambodia, began construction of the Cambodian Bear Sanctuary at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. This is now the world’s largest sanctuary for Sun bears and has educated hundreds of thousands of Cambodians about the threats facing their wild bear populations.

Further requests for help arrived and Free the Bears Fund was soon involved in projects throughout South-east Asia and even further afield. A telephone call from Maneka Gandhi in India led to the Fund joining Wildlife SOS and International Animal Rescue in the seemingly impossible challenge of rescuing India’s dancing bears. The first group of 25 rescued bears entered the Agra Bear Rescue Facility on Christmas Eve of 2002 and over the next seven years Free the Bears Fund fully supported the Kalander Rehabilitation Program, providing seed money for more than 500 former dancing bear families to set up new sustainable livelihoods. Less than seven years after the first dancing bears were rescued, the last of India’s dancing bears was handed over into our care and the sight of bears being dragged on ropes through the streets of India is now consigned to the past.

Greater challenges lie ahead for the Fund as we strive to bring bear bile farming to an end in Vietnam and protect Laos’ wild bears from the many threats that surround them. With each country facing a unique set of issues to overcome, we employ a range of strategies including environmental education, conservation research and strengthened law enforcement to ensure that we achieve our mission to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world.

Projects in Progress

Since 1995 Free the Bears Fund has provided support to a wide range of projects across the globe; from the rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs in the Russian Far East to surveying wild Spectacled bears in Ecuador. As Free the Bears has grown we have focused more intensely on the Sun bears and Asiatic black bears of South-east Asia and the Sloth bears of India.

By creating partnerships that are tailored to each individual country and situation we have been able to support a wide range of projects in our six priority countries; Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Despite these countries being geographically close to one another, the threats to bears vary widely and as such our responses encompass a wide range of strategies including environmental awareness, sustainable livelihoods, increased enforcement and research and protection of wild bear populations.

Our support ranges from direct intervention on-the-ground to providing much-needed funds to local organisations carrying out bear conservation work in line with our goals. To find out more about the various projects that we support, please select from the menu to the left.

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/projects/overview

 

Our People

Registration Information

ABN

23 763 253 031

Tax Deductible

Yes

How to help us

General Donations

100% of your donation goes directly to the bears

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/donate

Other support

 

Sponsor a bear

Our responsibility to each bear does not end with their rescue. One of the Fund’s largest ongoing expenses is ensuring that each bear receives the very best care and attention available in our sanctuaries. By sponsoring you will be helping to provide your bear with their daily needs. You will receive a special sponsorship certificate with a photograph and information about your bear and the satisfaction that you have helped to make a difference.

Both 6 month and 12 month sponsorships are available in India, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. To meet the current range of bears you are able to sponsor, please visit our “Meet the bears” page under each project. Once you have decided on a bear, simply visit our online shop to send in your sponsorship.

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/sponsorship

Corporate Sponsorship

Corporate sponsorship is a fantastic way to show clients that your company cares about the world that we live in. Each year we support numerous projects which could easily be linked to your company in a mutually beneficial manner, whether this is the construction of new housing for rescued bears at one of our sanctuaries or supporting a book party for children in rural Cambodia. Already a number of established companies have realised that by supporting our work they can improve their social responsibility and have a solid partnership with a well-established and well-respected organisation, perhaps your company can be the next?

Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider supporting Free the Bears through your company;

A unique opportunity to be associated with one of the world’s most successful bear conservation and welfare organisations.

  • We are a well established non profit organisation with more than 15 years of proven experience in our field and a large supporter base.
  • Excellent marketing opportunities through our website, quarterly newsletter, social networking sites and frequent media coverage.
  • We have a loyal and dedicated volunteer team and thousands of supporters who trust Free the Bears and know that we only partner with respectable companies.
  • Last but most certainly not least, our 100% guarantee ensures that EVERY CENT that you give is sent directly to our programs in the field, helping the bears, not covering administrative overheads!

If you think that your company could benefit working with us whilst supporting our work to help the bears please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Call our Perth office on (+61) 08 9244 1096 or email info@freethebears.org.au

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/corporate-sponsorship

 

Work with us

Volunteer with us

Free the Bears now offers the chance for supporters to come and work with the bears at our sanctuary in Cambodia. In exchange for a small fee (all of which goes directly to support the bears) you can now come and help our keepers look after the bears for up to eight weeks (one week minimum stay). Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre (PTWRC) is very large and houses many species. Volunteers will be working with our groups of rescued Sun bears and Moon bears.

We currently house over 120 bears in 24 large outdoor enclosures covering about 8 hectares. The enclosures are very natural and have large rocky outcrops, native fauna, climbing frames and platforms, pools and other enrichments. It is a safe and happy home to bears that have been rescued from a range of different situations including poachers, the black market, the bile farm industry and businesses using them for entertainment, trades which often leave behind very young orphaned cubs.

For more information and an application form, please contact us at volunteercambodia.ftb@gmail.com

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/volunteer

Our Annual Reports

Our Mission / Objective

In 1993, whilst watching a current affairs TV program in Perth, Mary Hutton saw a segment that would change her life and hundreds of others.  The segment contained horrifying footage of Asiatic Black bears held in coffin sized cages unable to move or turn with dirty catheters inserted directly into their gall bladder. Mary learned that thousands of bears were being held in these horrifying conditions throughout Asia, regularly milked for their bile to feed the demand for bear bile to be used in traditional medicine. Gall bladders and bile have been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries, however the commercial farming of bears began recently in Korea during the 1980’s so that the bears could be milked for their bile repeatedly throughout their lives.

The next day, Mary drew up a petition and stood at the entrance of the local shopping mall collecting signatures to help “Free the Bears”. Within months, she had thousands of signatures, a regular group of like-minded supporters which became a committee, and plans to build on the momentum that had gathered into a force to help bears throughout the world. On the 23rd March 1995 Free the Bears Fund was registered as a not – for- profit charity. Word of Mary’s work spread as she delivered petitions to the Chinese Embassy in Canberra surrounded by schoolchildren and organised raffles, film nights and other events to raise awareness about the plight of Asia’s bears. Memberships and merchandise were sold to raise funds for overseas projects as requests for help started to arrive in the post.

One such request from an Australian businessman, John Stephens, in Cambodia led to Mary learning about the plight of the Sun bear, the world’s smallest and least-studied bear species. John Stephens had rescued a number of bears from Cambodian restaurants where they faced being butchered for bear paw soup but now his work was bringing him back toAustralia and the bears needed a new home. Mary organised for the Sun bears to be brought to Australia to start a regional breeding program and, recognising that there were more bears in need of help in Cambodia, began construction of the Cambodian Bear Sanctuary at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. This is now the world’s largest sanctuary for Sun bears and has educated hundreds of thousands of Cambodians about the threats facing their wild bear populations.

Further requests for help arrived and Free the Bears Fund was soon involved in projects throughout South-east Asia and even further afield. A telephone call from Maneka Gandhi in India led to the Fund joining Wildlife SOS and International Animal Rescue in the seemingly impossible challenge of rescuing India’s dancing bears. The first group of 25 rescued bears entered the Agra Bear Rescue Facility on Christmas Eve of 2002 and over the next seven years Free the Bears Fund fully supported the Kalander Rehabilitation Program, providing seed money for more than 500 former dancing bear families to set up new sustainable livelihoods. Less than seven years after the first dancing bears were rescued, the last of India’s dancing bears was handed over into our care and the sight of bears being dragged on ropes through the streets of India is now consigned to the past.

Greater challenges lie ahead for the Fund as we strive to bring bear bile farming to an end in Vietnam and protect Laos’ wild bears from the many threats that surround them. With each country facing a unique set of issues to overcome, we employ a range of strategies including environmental education, conservation research and strengthened law enforcement to ensure that we achieve our mission to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world.

Projects in Progress

Since 1995 Free the Bears Fund has provided support to a wide range of projects across the globe; from the rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs in the Russian Far East to surveying wild Spectacled bears in Ecuador. As Free the Bears has grown we have focused more intensely on the Sun bears and Asiatic black bears of South-east Asia and the Sloth bears of India.

By creating partnerships that are tailored to each individual country and situation we have been able to support a wide range of projects in our six priority countries; Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Despite these countries being geographically close to one another, the threats to bears vary widely and as such our responses encompass a wide range of strategies including environmental awareness, sustainable livelihoods, increased enforcement and research and protection of wild bear populations.

Our support ranges from direct intervention on-the-ground to providing much-needed funds to local organisations carrying out bear conservation work in line with our goals. To find out more about the various projects that we support, please select from the menu to the left.

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/projects/overview

 

Our People

Registration Information

ABN

23 763 253 031

Tax Deductible

Yes

How to Help us

General Donations

100% of your donation goes directly to the bears

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/donate

Other support

 

Sponsor a bear

Our responsibility to each bear does not end with their rescue. One of the Fund’s largest ongoing expenses is ensuring that each bear receives the very best care and attention available in our sanctuaries. By sponsoring you will be helping to provide your bear with their daily needs. You will receive a special sponsorship certificate with a photograph and information about your bear and the satisfaction that you have helped to make a difference.

Both 6 month and 12 month sponsorships are available in India, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. To meet the current range of bears you are able to sponsor, please visit our “Meet the bears” page under each project. Once you have decided on a bear, simply visit our online shop to send in your sponsorship.

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/sponsorship

Corporate Sponsorship

Corporate sponsorship is a fantastic way to show clients that your company cares about the world that we live in. Each year we support numerous projects which could easily be linked to your company in a mutually beneficial manner, whether this is the construction of new housing for rescued bears at one of our sanctuaries or supporting a book party for children in rural Cambodia. Already a number of established companies have realised that by supporting our work they can improve their social responsibility and have a solid partnership with a well-established and well-respected organisation, perhaps your company can be the next?

Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider supporting Free the Bears through your company;

A unique opportunity to be associated with one of the world’s most successful bear conservation and welfare organisations.

  • We are a well established non profit organisation with more than 15 years of proven experience in our field and a large supporter base.
  • Excellent marketing opportunities through our website, quarterly newsletter, social networking sites and frequent media coverage.
  • We have a loyal and dedicated volunteer team and thousands of supporters who trust Free the Bears and know that we only partner with respectable companies.
  • Last but most certainly not least, our 100% guarantee ensures that EVERY CENT that you give is sent directly to our programs in the field, helping the bears, not covering administrative overheads!

If you think that your company could benefit working with us whilst supporting our work to help the bears please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Call our Perth office on (+61) 08 9244 1096 or email info@freethebears.org.au

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/corporate-sponsorship

 

Work with us

Volunteer with us

Free the Bears now offers the chance for supporters to come and work with the bears at our sanctuary in Cambodia. In exchange for a small fee (all of which goes directly to support the bears) you can now come and help our keepers look after the bears for up to eight weeks (one week minimum stay). Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre (PTWRC) is very large and houses many species. Volunteers will be working with our groups of rescued Sun bears and Moon bears.

We currently house over 120 bears in 24 large outdoor enclosures covering about 8 hectares. The enclosures are very natural and have large rocky outcrops, native fauna, climbing frames and platforms, pools and other enrichments. It is a safe and happy home to bears that have been rescued from a range of different situations including poachers, the black market, the bile farm industry and businesses using them for entertainment, trades which often leave behind very young orphaned cubs.

For more information and an application form, please contact us at volunteercambodia.ftb@gmail.com

http://www.freethebears.org/index.php/help-the-bears/volunteer

Our Annual Reports

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