In June 2017, Change For Animals Foundation and our partners at Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group and Animals Asia launched a campaign to end the exploitation of two sun bears at the POD Chocolate Factory and Café in Bali.
Ajib, a 12 year old Sumatran sun bear and her baby, Marsha, were being used as photo props to entertain tourists after they had been entrusted to the facility for life-long care by the government following their rescue from the illegal wildlife trade.
We strongly opposed the animal interaction sessions and the exploitation of animals in this way that resulted in immense stress to the animals, poor living conditions and promoted the notion that animals are there for tourist entertainment. We offered to work collaboratively to build new enclosures and enrichment plans for the bears on the pone condition that the interactive sessions with tourist stopped. Our offers of assistance went ignored despite initial promising meetings.
Finally, on Saturday 26th January (2019), an investigator from Scorpion visited the facility again and found no more photo sessions with sun bears.
The sun bears are still being housed at the facility, but now tourists can only watch from outside the bears’ enclosure, and photo sessions are no longer available. This is great news for the bears who no longer have to endure the daily stress of such interactions, and the animals can now live in peace whilst helping to educate the public about the plight of bears in Indonesia and around the world.
As always, we will continue to monitor the situation.