Who’s up for a road trip? If it means rescuing a sun bear who goes by “Sammy” to ensure she gets to live out the rest of her days in luxury, then the answer if always, “yes!” Lao Wildlife Rescue Center (LWRC) did exactly this when they got word that authorities had seized a sun bear out of the hands of illegal keepers in Houaphan province in Laos.

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The sun bear would have been doomed to a life as a pet in a small cage or sold at a market as bear meat.

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Luckily authorities got to her just in time, but LWRC’s trek to rescue the bear was no small feat. Facing extreme weather conditions caused by typhoon Dianmu in Vietnam, the team began the treacherous drive on a rescue mission that ended up amounting to a 1,400 km return trip

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The team originally planned to stay overnight but the flooded streets, landslides, and collapsed roads resulted in the trip taking a total of four days and 58 hours of driving through the mountains of Northern Laos.

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However, a little rain wasn’t going to scare them off from rescuing Sunny, which just goes to show the determination of this team and their willingness to help animals in need at all costs.

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Sunny isn’t the first bear to fall victim to illegal wildlife traders and poachers. The capture and exploitation of sun bears has become an epidemic across southeast Asia and the bears are often sold for human consumption, kept as exotic pets, or subject to bear bile extraction.

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Fortunately for this little sun bear, she will have sunnier days ahead of her.

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We’re so happy this little cutie is safe now!

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Thankfully there are many organizations who are taking action to combat the problem including LWRC,  but the battle against wildlife poachers and illegal wildlife traders still has a long way to go.

To help other animals in need like Sunny click here.

All image source: Lao Wildlife Rescue Centre