LETTER: Asia for Animals Calls to Rescue Sun Bears from Crocodile Farm


(Featured image: a rescued sun bear sucking his paw, a stress response to human presence, at the Samboja Lestari Project near Balikpapan, Indonesia. Credit Wolf Clifton – Animal People, Inc.)

July 2016

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Haji Adenan Bin Haji Satem
Office of the Chief Minister
22nd Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia
Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching
Sarawak, Malaysia


Dear Tan Sri Adenan Satem,

We are writing on behalf of the Asia for Animals coalition, representing international organisations with extensive knowledge of animal welfare and conservation issues. A member of our coalition recently visited the Miri Crocodile Farm in Sarawak and has expressed grave concerns with regards to the welfare of the four sun bears housed at the facility.

Sun bears are highly intelligent animals that require a complex species-specific environment to meet both their physical and behavioural needs. From the information we have received, it is clear that the current environment cannot provide for these needs. In particular, the bears are housed within an unnatural environment, with little to no climbing opportunities, and, of great concern, the bear cub is exploited as a photo-prop for paying visitors. The welfare of the bears is severely compromised due to these current conditions, and their distress is clearly visible through their demonstration of abnormal pacing behaviours within the enclosure.

It is evident that the owners of the Miri Crocodile Farm do not have the resources, expertise or the facilities to provide adequate care for these sun bears, and there is now mounting international concern for the welfare of these individual animals with petitions circulating online for action to be taken to prevent further suffering.

On behalf of our members globally, we respectfully request you to confiscate these four individuals from the crocodile farm, and place them within an established sanctuary that has the expertise and resources required to meet their complex needs.


Sent on behalf of the following organizations:

  1. Animal Guardians
  2. Animal People
  3. Animals Asia Foundation
  4. ACRES
  5. Blue Cross of India
  6. Change for Animals Foundation
  7. Earth Island Institute
  8. Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations
  9. Humane Society International
  10. International Animal Rescue
  11. International Fund for Animal Welfare
  12. Philippine Animal Welfare Society
  13. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  14. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Hong Kong
  15. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sarawak, Malaysia
  16. World Animal Protection
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The Asia For Animals (AfA) Coalition is composed of 16 well-known and respected animal welfare organisations that have a shared focus on improving the welfare of animals in Asia. We are committed to providing support to organisations to help with their campaigns to tackle some of the most pressing animal welfare concerns in the region. Click to see author's profile.

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