Dr. Mary Hutton from Perth, Australia, founder of Free the Bears, has dedicated the past 25 years of her life to rescuing and combating cruelty to bears. Striving to stop their suffering “for as long as there are bears in need,” Free the Bears, established in 1995, has helped rescue and provide ongoing care to hundreds of bears at their sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia and Âu Lạc (Vietnam).
Free the Bears’ world-class sanctuaries consist of bear houses, cub nurseries, and wildlife hospitals that treat a variety of wild animals. They also work with traditional medicine practitioners to encourage herbal and synthetic alternatives to bear bile. “In 2009, I went to India and saw the last bear coming in, took the rope out of his nose and thought, ‘we’ve done it.’ That was 514 bears later, and it took just 7 years but the support we had was just amazing.”
Upon hearing about the beneficent service of Dr. Hutton and Free the Bears, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly presented the Shining World Compassion Award, and a contribution of US $10,000 for this noble cause. “Dear Dr. Hutton, It is with great admiration and gratitude that we present to Free the Bears the ‘Shining World Compassion Award’ for decades long service saving bears across Asia and laying the foundation for continual support well into the future.” “For being a beacon of light, shining bright, inspiring other like-minded saints to support the cause, for your unconditional love and passion to end animal exploitation, and for your benevolence and wisdom, it is our privilege to salute the great compassionate deeds of Free the Bears and esteemed founder, Dr. Mary Hutton, OAM. May you, your team and the precious animals you safeguard be always blessed and shielded by the Heavens. With Love and Blessings in God's Mercy Supreme Master Ching Hai”