Heartwarming footage shows how two rare bears whose cubs were stolen by animal traffickers undergo thorough health checks.
Pictures show one of the bears being taken to a veterinarian and given a thorough health check after being anaesthetised. It can then be seen fully awake again after a physical examination.
The video was obtained from Australia’s Perth Zoo, which issued a statement saying: “The sun bears Bopha and Jamran were victims of the illegal wildlife trade but have been found at Perth Zoo for good after being rescued by Free the Bears. s home.”
Free the Bears, also known as the Free the Bears Fund, is a charitable wildlife conservation organization in Australia.
Perth Zoo added: “They have a tough start in life, but regular check-ups help them stay in top shape as veterinarians can keep tabs on physical condition, dental health, joint mobility and more.
“We are happy to say that both bears appear to be healthy for their age.”
The zoo added: “Our animal care staff are keeping a close eye on the health and welfare of two sun bears after their cubs were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.
“Bears have a personalised benefit plan that includes a wealth of activities, specialised diets and of course scheduled visits to the veterinary hospital every few years.
“This month, the bears underwent a full-body examination under anesthesia, and the team was able to closely examine their physical condition, dental health, joint mobility and take pathology samples for testing.”
Senior veterinarian Rebecca Vaughan-Higgins said: “These scheduled health checks are a great way for us to get a thorough check on the health of our animals.
“Even if we’re not concerned, it’s always valuable to use X-rays and blood tests as a baseline for any potential future health problems.
“These bears look healthy, but they do need good tooth scales and polish to remove some tartar buildup.
“Overall, Jamran and Bopha’s surgery went well, with no reported health issues and a good recovery from anesthesia.”
The zoo explained that the two bears were cared for in 2007 after the cubs were poached. The zoo said Bopha was found “living as an illegal household pet while Jamran was found tied up in restaurants and on menus”.
“X-rays and mobility tests were especially important for Jamran, who suffered some long-term injuries as his claws were tied before he was rescued,” Vaughan-Higgins said.
“We like to keep a close eye on his paws to make sure he doesn’t have any pain or mobility issues that may need treatment,” she added.
The zoo said: “The animal care staff at Perth Zoo have spent the past 15 years working hard to develop strong bonds with our bears while providing them with a lifestyle very similar to the way they should be in the wild. They went through the terrible Bopha and Jamran was the lucky one.
“Sadly, many wild bears continue to fall victim to illegal poaching and compete for dwindling resources due to habitat loss.”
Sun Bear (Malayan salamander) is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
They are found in tropical forests in Southeast Asia, whose population is believed to have declined by 35 percent over the past 30 years, due to wildlife trafficking and habitat fragmentation, according to the IUCN bear expert panel.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.