​Moon bear freed after three years in a cage

By Dang Khoa   December 24, 2020 | 05:30 am PT
​Moon bear freed after three years in a cage
Nghe An Province police rescue a caged moon bear in Dien Chau District. Photo courtesy of Environmental Crime Prevention and Fighting Police Department.
A four-year-old moon bear was rescued by authorities on Wednesday after three years of captivity in the central Nghe An Province.

The province's Environmental Crime Prevention and Fighting Police Department rescued the 200-kg bear from Ngo Sy Duc, 59, of Dien Chau District.

Duc told local authorities he has been keeping the endangered animal since 2017 as a pet, and the police have filed charges against him for illegally possessing wildlife, Nghe An news website reported.

The bear was taken to the Muong Thanh Dien Lam Ecological Park in the same district before being handed over to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc Province, an hour and a half to the northwest of Hanoi.

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

Over 600 bears are kept in farms, while only a few hundred live in the wild. They are kept in cages for the extraction of their bile, believed to be a remedy for various ailments.

Although extraction was banned in 2005, farms already having the animals were allowed to keep them.

Violations of wildlife protection regulations are a crime punishable by up to seven years in jail.

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