Moon bear, cub extracted from 18-year bile bondage

By Ngoc Thanh, Nguyen Quy   November 4, 2020 | 05:04 pm GMT+7
An endangered Asian black bear, or moon bear, was delivered from 18 years' captivity on a bile farm along with her four-year-old female cub in Phu Tho Province on Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, the mother bear weighing 120kg and her 100-kilogram-daughter bear left a private farm in Thanh Ba District, Phu Tho Province, around from Hanoi after the farm owner voluntarily agreed to hand over them to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc Province under animal welfare charity organization AnimalsAsia. According to the owner, this was a rare case of successful breeding in captivity. The mother bear is about 20 years old and was locked 18 years ago. AnimalsAsia named the mother bear as Storm and the daughter bear as Torrent to commemorate those killed by multiple storms and floods that hit central Vietnam last month.

On Tuesday afternoon, the mother bear weighing 120 kg and her 100-kilogram-cub left a private farm in Thanh Ba District, Phu Tho Province, around 100 km from Hanoi, after their captor voluntarily agreed to transfer them to Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc Province, operated by animal welfare organization Animals Asia.
According to the captor, the 20-year-old mother, locked up 18 years ago, and her four-year-old cub represent a rare case of successful captive breeding.
Animals Asia subsequently named the mother bear "Storm" and her cub "Torrent" to commemorate those killed by multiple storms and flooding that hit central Vietnam last month.

Doctors use a blowpipe to shoot a tranquilizer into one of the bears before taking it outside.

Vets use a blowpipe to administer a tranquilizer dart.

The two bears rescued lie in two opposite cages and experts use honey and fruit to lure the bears so that they can reduce stress and experts can easily anesthetize.

The rescue team uses honey and fruit to pacify the bears before they are anesthetized.

After being taken out of the cage, doctors give a general health check to Torrent before moving it to a bear sanctuary in Tam Dao National Park, Vinh Phuc Province, just 65 kilometers from the bile farm.They also took blood, hair, feces, and urine samples from the animals to assess their health situation before moving them to semi-wild environment.

Vets give Torrent a general health check before transferring her to the semi-wild bear sanctuary in Tam Dao National Park, Vinh Phuc Province, only 65 km from the bile farm.
Blood, hair, feces, and urine samples were collected for later study.

Toenails are cut off to prevent damage when the bear has blood sample taken for health check.

Both bears have their claws trimmed for health and safety reasons.

Doctor Kate Shipton said both mother and daughter bears have stable health conditions. A representative from Animals Asia told VnExpress that due to falling prices in honey bear in recent years, many Vietnamese bile farm owners gare no longer interested in raising bears for commercial purposes. Some would sell them to earn some profits while others want to hand over the bears to rescue centers as charitable act.

Doctor Kate Shipton said both mother and cub are in stable condition.
A representative from Animals Asia told VnExpress that due to the failing price of bear bile in recent years, many Vietnamese farm owners can no longer profit from the illicit trade. Some would rather sell off body parts or hand bears to rescue centers as a perceived act of charity.

The bears are taken through a small path about 60 cm to leave the farm. This was the sixth rescue mission of the organization so far this year which has helped to free 11 bears. With the two rescued bears, Phu Tho now has around 11 bears locked in cages, AnimalsAsia said. Vietnam banned commercial bear bile extraction in 2005, but more than a decade later it remains a problem.  The government signed an agreement in 2017 with animal activists to shut down all bile farms and free the remaining 1,000 bears in captivity by the end of this year. However, according to a Four Paws Viet survey, there are still about 450 bears, mainly Asian black bears, living in critical condition in 150 private farms in Vietnam.

The bears are transferred to a waiting vehicle via a narrow passage. This was the sixth rescue mission conducted by the organization this year, culminating in the release of 11 bears thus far.
Vietnam banned commercial bear bile extraction in 2005, but more than a decade later the illegal practice remains widespread. The government signed an agreement in 2017 with animal activists to shut down all bile farms and free the remaining 1,000 bears in captivity by the end of this year.
However, according to a Four Paws Viet survey, there are still about 450 bears, mainly Asian black bears, surviving in critical condition at 150 private farms across Vietnam.
Bear bile is typically extracted from a moon bear's gallbladder and used in traditional Chinese medicine in Vietnam.
Farmers have not yet faced any form of penalty for persisting in the trade as the Vietnamese government, along with animal activists, seek to encourage farmers to voluntarily hand over captive bears.

The bears are put on a truck for the new journey.AnimalsAsia said the organization has received donations from individuals in Europe that help it continue its mission to rescue the bears, end bear bile farming and improve the welfare of animals.

The bears prepare to embark on their new journey.
Animals Asia said it has received donations from individuals in Europe to help it continue rescuing bears, end bear bile farming and improve the welfare of animals.
Once transferred to the rescue center, bears usually take around five to six weeks to fully adapt to their new environment.

 
 
go to top