A baby sun bear explores in the grass.

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His Name is Blue

A Sun Bear’s Journey

Bear Number 183 was tiny when he was rescued – he was barely more than a handful. The baby sun bear was rescued from a filthy outhouse, where he had been hidden inside a blue box, destined for the illegal wildlife trade. He’d been stolen from his mother, in the jungles of Asia, because of the mistaken belief that his body parts were more valuable than his life.

After being rescued and transported to a sanctuary operated by our partner, Free the Bears, the little bear, now called Blue, was given a complete health check-up. Veterinarians found that he was calm, cooperative, and sweet, but unable to walk. X-rays showed that he had spinal problems.

Baby Steps

Blue’s caretakers and veterinarians worked with him every day, tempting him with ants (his favorite treat) to encourage him to take just a few more steps than he’d taken the day before. Still, poor Blue would tire easily, and sometimes give up. But his caretakers never did.

After months of around-the-clock care, consultations with veterinary experts from around the globe, and plenty of exercise with other cubs, Blue grew strong enough to walk, play, and climb with his bear playmates.

From Blue Box to Blue Skies

Blue lives a happy life now – he enjoys naps in his hammock with his friend Baker, where they playfully jostle each other for more room. He explores his forest sanctuary, foraging for treats and splashing in the pools. He wrestles with his friends, Bearzilla and Alfie. He snacks on sweet potatoes and green beans. And sometimes he just enjoys a peaceful nap in the sun, blissful and safe.

Blue is surrounded by bear friends and caretakers who love him. He’s a handsome, healthy boy, with a glossy black coat and a big bear smile. He’s thriving. But not all bears are so lucky.

A sun bear plays with a ball.

Blue plays with a ball, one of his favorite things. He's thriving these days, enjoying plenty of food, toys, treats, and play time with his bear friends.

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 a rescued bear cub like Blue 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 a bear cub in desperate need, like Blue.

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 Blue, Floppy Feet, Beryl and Brenda, and other rescued bears.

A sun bear explores his sanctuary home.

These days, Blue is a happy, healthy bear.

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.