Breaking! 200th Bear Arrives At Animals Asia’s Vietnam Sanctuary After Suffering 17 Years Of Bile Farm Misery
Animals Asia’s rescue team arrived at their Vietnam Bear Rescue Center on Tuesday, October 23rd after rescuing another female Asiatic black bear from a bile farm in Vietnam’s Cao Bang province.
The rescue marks Animals Asia’s 200th in Vietnam, with the charity having saved a further 418 bears in China.
As a result of the rescue, the bile farm has been shut down and the owners will never again be able to keep bears.
“Rescuing the 200th bear is certainly a milestone for the team, but most importantly, this is another individual rescued, another farm closed, and another step closer to completely eradicating bear bile farming in Vietnam,” said Animals Asia Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen in a statement.
The bear, who does not yet have a name, was originally thought to have been around three years old when registered in 2005. However, her owner claims she bought the bear 17 years ago when she was just a cub weighing an estimated 75 pounds. Moon bears can live to be up to 30 years old.
The rescued bear will now begin a 45-day quarantine period during which she will also receive health care and be introduced to a healthy, species-appropriate diet.
After quarantine, she will be moved to a spacious den where she will begin her rehabilitation process and regain her strength. Eventually, when she is physically and mentally ready, she will be introduced to other bears and given access to an outdoor enclosure.
“We’re delighted that this long-suffering bear is finally safe and we can begin to make her well again,” said Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear and Vet Team Director, Heidi Quine. “Overcoming such extreme cruelty and isolation is never easy, but each bear reacts differently. So far, she seems calm but there have also been signs of psychological trauma.”
In August of this year, Animals Asia successfully rescued five bears in South Vietnam, while last month, a female moon bear named Sky was rescued from the mountainous Lao Cai province.
Bears on bile farms in Vietnam suffer from poor nutrition, egregious health and living conditions, and no proper veterinary care. As a result, they often display physical and emotional symptoms such as pacing and hitting their bodies against the bars of cages.
Moon bears are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, and categorized as endangered by CITES. More than 10,000 are held on bear bile farms in China, and around 800 are also trapped in cages as part of the industry in Vietnam.
Animals Asia began to take on the issue of bear bile farming in Vietnam in 1999, opening its Vietnam Bear Rescue Center (VBRC), the first sanctuary devoted to bears in that country, in 2008.
Bear bile farming has been illegal in Vietnam since 2005 when every bear in captivity was micro-chipped. However, without facilities to hold the over 4,000 bears on farms at the time, those holding the bears were permitted to keep them, and the practice persisted.
However, in 2017, the government signed a landmark partnership agreement with Animals Asia to ensure that every farm is closed and the remaining approximately 800 bears are sent to sanctuaries by 2022.
Today, nearly 200 bears live peaceful lives at Animals Asia’s VBRC, while a further 190 are cared for by the nonprofit organization in China.
No-Name is in bad shape. She’s suffered in silence for many years. She will need extensive care and rehabilitation in the coming weeks and months.
To help, please donate to Animals Asia HERE #EndBearBileFarming