Tiny bear cubs sit in a tree.

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Hanging On By A Limb

Tiny Bear Cubs Fight to Survive

Beryl and Brenda weighed less than four pounds each when they were rescued. Tiny, fragile, and defenseless, they were stolen from their mother before they were even two months old, destined for the illegal wildlife trade. Fortunately, our partners at Free the Bears intervened, winning custody of the moon bear cubs and transporting them to safety.

Arriving at Free the Bears’ sanctuary, the cubs were examined immediately. They were frail and weak, suffering from the lack of nourishment that their mother would have provided. But they were alive.

Orphaned But Not Alone

For the first few weeks, the vulnerable babies required 24-hour care, eight bottle feedings per day, and frequent health check-ups. Benefiting from the expert care and doting attention, Beryl and Brenda began to grow and gain strength.

No longer in immediate danger, the little siblings started to enjoy their regular check-ups, using the opportunity to play and explore. Finally well enough to do more than rest, their personalities began to emerge, to the delight of their doctors and caretakers. They blossomed into spunky, curious little bears. Squawking and grunting, they tumbled clumsily around the exam room, batting and chasing each other between meandering sessions of investigation.

Lifelong Sanctuary

Beryl and Brenda are thriving today. They’re strong enough to enjoy supervised strolls in the forest, where they develop essential skills like climbing and foraging. Beryl often takes the lead while Brenda is a bit more cautious, but they’re always together – they’re inseparable.

Without a mother to teach them how to live in the forest, and without protected forest for them to live in, Beryl and Brenda will spend the rest of their lives – which could be up to 40 years – in the safety of the sanctuary. Your support ensures that Beryl, Brenda, and other orphaned bears have the food, medicine, and specialized care they need to thrive. Will you donate today?

Baby bear cubs explore their sanctuary home.

Beryl and Brenda are thriving today. They love going on supervised strolls in the forest, where they develop essential skills like climbing and foraging.

Bears in Danger – How You Can Help

Bears around the world are in trouble. Decades of poaching, wildlife trafficking, and habitat loss have devastated wild populations. And for most bear species, numbers are declining rapidly.

  • Your gift of $30 could feed rescued bear cubs like Beryl and Brenda for one week, providing the special milk formula tiny bears need for nourishment.
  • Your gift of $58 could provide a week of bear care for an adult bear, including health check-ups and their favorite foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and green beans.
  • Your gift of $300 could provide emergency transport to rescue bear cubs in desperate need, like Beryl and Brenda.

Your tax-deductible donation to the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy can help rescue bears from a horrific fate in the jungles of Asia, keep an eye on polar bears across the Arctic, and protect brown bears at home in North America.

Read more about Beryl and Brenda, Blue, Floppy Feet, and other rescued bears.

Bear cubs climb a tree in their sanctuary home.

Beryl and Brenda develop their climbing skills on supervised walks in the forest.

rhino mom and baby


As we face the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for countless animals and plants that depend on us each and every day.

Your continued support is critical to the wildlife in our care and vital to endangered species worldwide.