Animal welfare charity Animals Asia on Friday successfully rescued four moon bears from three bear bile farms in the Central Highlands province of Pleiku, ending years of mistreatment for the weakened animals.
The organization said that five years ago, they got information about the animals but at that time, their owners didn’t want to hand over the bears to the rescue center.
Under constant pressure from the local Forestry Department, the four bears, two males and two females, have finally been released.
Animals Asia said that after more than a decade being held in captivity, the bears have showed signs of depression and suffered physical pains. Their teeth are shattered and infected from desperate attempts to chew through the iron bars. One of the bears has lost a paw and has an abnormal tumor.
On Saturday, the bears will be going on a 1,200-kilometer journey to reach a bear rescue center in Tam Dao National Park, where 155 other peers are waiting for them.
Tuan Bendixsen, head of Animals Asia’s Vietnam branch, said: "We can’t restore their lost years but we can set them free. We can offer the bears with sunshine, open air and bear friends."
The organization estimated around 1,200 moon and sun bears are being held on bear bile farms across the country even though the government has banned bile farming since 2005.
To date it has rescued nearly 170 bears in Vietnam, mostly from the bear bile industry.