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Bear Sanctuary

An Andean bear sanctuary is a dream which is now becoming reality, thanks to our supporters.  For some bears, due to disability, illness or old age, release is not a feasible option as they simply would not survive in the wild.  In these cases, we plan to give them spacious enclosures at the sanctuary with natural vegetation where they can live peacefully.  The specialised wildlife sanctuary will also be a safe place for the rehabilitation of rescued bear cubs
The Iznachi Bear Sanctuary now has its first 3 residents.  Suyana, our female bear cub who was rescued in November 2011 and moved in at the end of February 2012.   Suyana puts the "wild" into wildlife, she is very cautious about humans and we think she will be an excellent candidate for liberation in the future.  For now, she is safely at the Iznachi Bear Sanctuary, learning how to eat the foods she will find in the wild.  Mazharito joined Suyana at the sanctuary in May 2012.  He was very scared of her at first, being more comfortable with humans than with other bears after being illegally kept as a pet, but they are now settled and friendly.  Together the two play and wrestle as bear cubs would in the wild.  Azul arrived at the sanctuary in February 2013, wild and very traumatised, but is gradually bonding with the other two bears.
The bear sanctuary will serve as a centre for education about the bears and their needs in terms of habitat and conservation, for both local communities and overseas tourists.  Andean bears are vulnerable to extinction, mostly due to habitat loss and illegal hunting.  Little is known about the species and there is much more to learn.  Researchers will be able to observe bears in the sanctuary, to learn more about bear behavior and ecology and use this information to better understand the conservation needs of wild bears. 
Construction on the bear sanctuary continues.  The first cage is finished and inhabited, but there is much, much more to do. We're making a start with the funds we have, but a bear sanctuary of this type will be costly and we continue to seek funds for construction.  We received a donation thanks to Ecuavisa, the program Celebrities and Pets, for which we are very grateful, and bought land last year, but our plans to arrange access to it didn't work out as we had hoped.  In April 2011 we were fortunate enough to find the ideal site, in Las Palmas de Cosanga, between Baeza and Cosanga in Napo Province in Ecuador.  Thanks to help from our donors, we bought 5 hectares of forested hillside, perfect for bears.  
The bear sanctuary site is located in the Cantón of Quijos.  The sanctuary is known as the Iznachi Bear Sanctuary, because Iznachi is the word for bear in the old language of the Quijos people, who lived in this area before the invasion of the Spanish conquistadores.  We also have a beautiful logo for the Sanctuary, designed by Rebecca Hamilton based on a drawing by Toby Shephard.
We started the campaign for the bear sanctuary on 29th October 2010 and are making good progress.  We are especially proud that Beth Klemick ran a half marathon, in honour of Bandit the Andean bear who passed away in 2010, with donations going to the Andean Bear Sanctuary Project.  We were challenged by Tc Daibhison to raise $1,000 by the end of May, helped on by a FUNraiser event by Project Hope which raised $500 towards that, and given another $500 from a generous supporter when we succeeded.  We also met Dawn Edwards' challenge to raise $500 and win $100 from Trevor Roge, and exceeded Barbara Bey's birthday wish challenge to raise $100.  Grateful thanks to all our donors.
Later, the bear sanctuary will include more bear enclosures, a clinic, a feedstore and an education centre where visitors can learn more about Andean bears.  When we have appropriate accommodation, we will be able to accept volunteers to help with construction and planting suitable trees and plants to cultivate food for the bears.  
Donate for the Iznachi Andean Bear Sanctuary with PayPal here:
Andean Bear Conservation Project: Iznachi Bear Sanctuary
A sanctuary where the Andean Bear Conservation Project can care for spectacled bears which cannot be liberated.  The Iznachi Andean Bear Sanctuary is also home to rescued orphaned bear cubs in rehabilitation, prior to liberation back to the wild.
Logo of the Iznachi Bear Sanctuary - a mother bear and cub
Rescued cubs at the Andean bear sanctuary
Construction at the bear sanctuary
Site of Andean Bear Sanctuary
Bear cub in wildlife sanctuary
Spectacled bear in sanctuary