This lovely video update is from animal welfare group Animals Asia, and shows one of their rescued sun bears making her first-ever friends!

The adorable bear is named Aurora, and she was rescued in December 2018. Aurora had spent the first 15 years of her life in a barren cage, held in cruel captivity as someone’s exotic “pet.” When this sun bear was first found, she was in awful shape, both physically and emotionally.

After her rescue, Aurora had to spend several months in quarantine and at the wildlife hospital recovering from her injuries after so many years of neglect. Once she made a full recovery, she was transferred to Animals Asia’s rescue center in Vietnam.

Since Aurora was most likely poached from the wild as a cub, she had not been around other bears in over 15 years — and her caretakers were unsure how she would react, or if she even knew how to socialize.

Much to everyone’s delight, this sweet bear instantly began making friends with five other sun bears at the sanctuary. Aurora is so playful and loving that she is even helping some of the shier bears come out of their shells.

Now, all of the rescued sun bears — Aurora, Goldie, Sassy, Annemarie, Murphy, and Layla — are just one big happy family! They all get to live in an outdoor enclosure filled with trees, a swimming pool, and lots of toys and climbing enrichment. They are able to express natural behaviors such as foraging, and finally live their lives the way sun bears are meant to live.

Aurora loves to wrestle with her new friends, play with them on the grass, and eat and forage next to them — and she even likes sharing sleeping baskets. These darling sun bears were able to overcome their traumatic pasts, and as you can see in the video they are now having the time of their lives.

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