You're helping us protect wild sun bears!

On International Sun Bear Day, let’s celebrate some of the conservation milestones we’ve reached together for this species. 

Since 2007, Perth Zoo has been a proud partner of Free the Bears - an organisation focused on saving and protecting bears in Southeast Asia from the harsh realities of poaching, trafficking and bile farming. 



This long-standing partnership enabled us to provide forever homes to Jamran and Bopha, and through our participation in the regional breeding program, our pair of bears successfully parented Australia’s first-ever sun bear cub in 2008!

But real, impactful conservation work is so much more than just the cute and cuddly stuff. 

Thanks to generous community donations, here’s the valuable work we’ve supported through Free the Bears last two years:

Vet training workshop

In June last year, we helped fund Free the Bears’ first ever veterinary workshop! 

This brought together the small but growing community of specialist wildlife veterinarians in Laos to share ideas, discussion common challenges and protocols.  

Seven Free the Bears’ veterinary staff members travelled from Cambodia and Laos – ultimately, this knowledge-sharing will provide continually improved standards of medical care for bears overseas!

New researcher and security accommodation

Perth Zoo provided funds for the construction of a brand-new four-bedroom accommodation unit at Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary in Laos. 

This unit sleeps eight people and now the sanctuary can welcome more visiting researchers, interns, skilled volunteers and government staff involved in training programs. 

With more space to stay, it means there’s an increased capacity for conservation work at the Sanctuary. 


Support for research team
As a particularly elusive species, any research is incredibly valuable!

We provided vital funds for researchers to carry out this important work so we can collectively understand more about the species and the local communities. 

In fact, 11 peer-reviewed papers were published through research conducted at Free the Bears sanctuaries or by staff. 

All of this complex scientific research information will provide invaluable insights into how sun bear conservation activity can have the most successful impact. 

Did you know?
You can contribute to Sun Bear conservation work like this by donating to Perth Zoo, or by booking a Sun Bear Close Encounter! 

20 cents from every dollar in our Close Encounters goes directly to supporting our partners through the Wildlife Conservation Action fund.