Wild Welfare’s recent visit to Japan saw our team checking the welfare of four bears housed at The Ainu Museum, in the Hokkaido prefecture.
Visiting Ainu with representatives from experienced partners The Japanese Animal Welfare Society (JAWS UK), The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) and the Japan Bear Network, we were responding to concerning reports regarding the welfare of the facility’s resident bears.
Sadly what we found was distressing. The bears are being kept in unsuitable conditions, in small cages and with no appropriate exercise or behavioural opportunities. JAWS have previously investigated the conditions of these bears and provided recommendations for improvement and moving the animals, but despite their efforts to find the bears an alternative home, currently there is nothing suitable within Japan. With this in mind, and with the support of JAZA and JAWS, it was vital for Wild Welfare to meet with the Secretary General of Ainu and discuss possible alternative solutions.
After speaking to Ainu at length, Wild Welfare has been able to secure responsibility for the four bears. We cannot reveal more details at this time, but what we can say is that we are doing everything we can to find a solution for the bears and we believe hope really is around the corner for them.
We will bring you more information soon.
Image © Wild Welfare, one of the brown bears at the Ainu Museum