The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is a wildlife centre located near to the entrance to the Kuang Si Falls about 45 minutes by road from Luang Prabang in Northern Laos.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 to 17:30
- Admission: Free (you need to pay 20,000 Kip to enter the falls to visit)
About Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre was established in 2003 by the Free the Bears charity. Free the Bears was set up by Mary Hutton, a grandmother based in Perth, Australia, in 1995. Mary was moved to act after watching a documentary about the cruel conditions Asiatic Black Bears, also known as Moon Bears, are kept in bile farms. The bile of bears is a popular ingredient used in Chinese medicine and collected by the insertion of a tube into the gall bladder of bear which is then milked for the remainder of its miserable life inside a tiny cage. Mary’s remarkable fund raising and organisational efforts have resulted in the establishment of bear rescue centres in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The organisation is believed to have rescued around 950 bears, as well as providing care for a range of other endangered animals which have been liberated from animal smugglers, such as civets, leopard cats and red pandas.
Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is both a sanctuary for rescued bears and an educational centre. At any given time there are around 10 to 20 bears in the enclosure, which isn’t that large but has swings, hammocks and climbing frames to keep the bears entertained. There is an observation deck from which visitors can get a good view of the bears. When you visit take the time to read the information boards at the centre which explain the plight of the Asiatic Black Bear, which is also hunted for its meat and fur. Also consider buying a t-shirt or paying to sponsor a bear. The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is a charitable organisation which exists for all the right reasons, rather than a commercial operation where animal are exploited for profit, and deserves financial support.
Location of Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is 29.7 km by road from Luang Prabang.