Highs, Lows and Bears in Vietnam

I have just returned from a 3 day workshop in Vietnam hosted by Animals Asia, an organisation we are incredibly proud to be supporting. 😊

The Vietnamese government approached Animals Asia sometime ago asking for their help and guidance regarding the current elephant populations in Vietnam, both wild and captive. The aim of the workshop was to develop a comprehensive plan to improve the welfare of the captive elephant population and to address the current critically low, wild elephant population, estimated to be below 100. 🐘🐘


Another aim of the workshop was to support the government in its development of The Elephant Conservation Centre rescue facility. This is being designed for the rehabilitation of elephants rescued from tourist led activities such as elephant back riding.

The rescue centre is still in the infancy stage, but here are 2 young bull elephants currently being cared for.


On one of the days, delegates were invited to visit the largest tourist elephant riding camp in the area and I went along.  Witnessing what goes on behind the scenes was heart wrenching to say the least. To think that these poor elephants are taken from their mothers at a very young age, beaten into submission to enable them to be ridden, and to top it all, are chained up when not being ridden, is just unbelievable really. They suffer physically and mentally their entire life, but, as long as tourists insist on riding them, this cruel process will continue.  Please spread the word and tell everyone you know NOT to participate in this activity or indeed any activity that involves the exploitation of animals for their enjoyment. Its just not fair.


I also visited a zoo which Animals Asia are working with to improve the dismal day to day lives of these poor captive animals.  I can’t bring myself to share my photos of this with you, but like me, take some comfort in the a fact that Animals Asia are doing everything they can to improve captive welfare. Of course if we had our way, there would be no captive animals, but thank goodness Animals Asia are doing what they can for these animals whilst there is no alternative.

I ended the trip on a much more positive note when I went to see how building works were coming along on the new bear enclosure at Animals Asia’s bear sanctuary in Tam Dao National Park. OAT are co-funding the development of this enclosure that will increase capacity for more bears rescued from the horrendous Bear Bile industry.



Next stop Zambia 🇿🇲 in February and then Guinea 🇬🇳 in March. More on this later…………..