We wanted to help Sun Bear Outreach on our scale by donating funds to them each year, through each pair of shoes. The money raised will go directly to the various local projects implemented by Sun Bear Outreach to improve living conditions for sun bears.
The story begins in Indonesia with Patrick Rouxel, director and founder of the Sun Bear Outreach project. During one of his trips to the middle of Asia, Patrick was shocked by the obscure living conditions of the sun bears . Founded in 2014, the Sun Bear Outreach association has made it its mission to help and rescue sun bears captured and taken into captivity.
Sun bears are found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. Surprisingly, it is actually the smallest species of bear in the world! Sun bears can reach a length of 1.5 meters for 70 kg . They are black in color, except for their chest which is speckled golden. Legend has it that this task strangely resembles the rising sun, hence the name of this endangered species "Sun Bear".
In decline of more than 30% compared to the last 30 years , this species is classified as endangered. The reason for its disappearance is due to the increasing number of areas affected by deforestation and poaching. These bears are highly sought after for their meat, their skin, their paws and finally their bile which is widely used in Chinese medicine . Once the adults are killed, the cubs become orphans and are then sold to individuals. Once in their possession, the cubs are raised in cages throughout their lives, for the simple pleasure of their owner.
Animal rescue centers:
These centers are a better alternative to the wildlife trade, but are still very limited. Indeed, although pulled out of their cages, the rescue centers have very little financial means . Bears are therefore far too often rescued from these individuals to be unfortunately re-locked in cages. Although the attention paid to the bears is greater, the latter still remain in the cage. The problem is therefore not completely solved.
Solitary in nature, the sun bears naturally evolve in more than 200 hectares of forest. Reduced to a 2m2 cage, far too often these bears go crazy, just like a human being might.
The role of Sun Bear Outreach:
Upon his arrival in the territory, the living conditions of these bears shocked Patrick so that he created a movement to support this species.
Today, Sun Bear Outreach is performing miracles for these bears . Sun Bear Outreach's primary mission is to give these captive sun bears better, descent and respectable living conditions. To do this, the association raises local populations' awareness of animal welfare, the seriousness of deforestation and poaching.
Founded in 2014 and registered in France, the association Sun Bear Outreach collaborates with animal rescue centers that focus solely on the preservation of sun bears.
Sun Bear Outreach (SBO) is a non-profit organization registered in France. Since 2014, SBO has been collaborating with animal rescue centers in Indonesia that deal, in particular, with sun bears. On-site volunteers build large forest enclosures, renovate and improve existing facilities. Training in animal welfare and the needs of sun bears is also provided by the association. To date, Sun Bear Outreach has improved the living conditions of over 100 Indonesian sun bears. After having lived in less than 2 square meters of area, these bears re-learn to live in community in several hectares of forest.
SAOLA SHOES x Sun Bear Outreach
Since the creation of SAOLA SHOES, the objective has always been to create a strong link with the associations that we support. As you know, each year we will donate 1% to the association 1% For The Planet.
All the associations we support are also part of this movement. In other words, through 1% For The Planet, we donate 1% for the 5 associations we have chosen, in particular Sun Bear Outreach.
With the funds we will raise throughout the year, we want to give Patrick the opportunity to build more shelters for the sun bears, expand their living spaces and improve their living conditions.