Moon bear caged for a lifetime tastes freedom

By Staff reporters   December 5, 2019 | 06:10 pm PT
Moon bear caged for a lifetime tastes freedom
A man from Four Paws Vietnam opens a cage to release a sedated moon bear in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, December 4, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency.
A moon bear caged for 30 years, its normal life span, in Son La Province has been handed over voluntarily to a sanctuary.

The bear, weighing 90 kg, was kept captive by a family in Moc Chau District in the northern mountainous province. Having lived in a tight cage for so long, the bear suffered from a range of health problems including malnutrition, veterinarians said.

The bear was sedated on Wednesday to be taken to the sanctuary in Ninh Binh Province where it will undergo more extensive health checks. It will be cared for in the sanctuary before being taken to a semi-wild area to restore its natural instincts.

There are still about 450 bears, mainly moon bears, living in critical condition in 150 private farms in Vietnam. The bears are mostly kept captive to extract their bile, which is used as medicine for several ailments in Vietnam and other countries in the region, according to a survey by Four Paws Vietnam Foundation.

Vietnam banned commercial bear bile extraction in 2005, but farmers who owned bears prior to the ban are still allowed to keep them.

The country is home to both the moon bear and the sun bear, both listed as vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature

go to top