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Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

By Ngoc Thanh   September 22, 2022 | 06:09 am PT
A moon bear that had been raised in captivity for 17 years was rescued Thursday by animal welfare organization Animals Asia.
Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

The female bear, weighing 120 kg, had been raised in a multi-layered metal cage by a family in the northern Nam Dinh Province's Truc Ninh District. The family handed the bear over to authorities voluntarily.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

After a 10-minute observation, experts at Animals Asia decided to sedate her, as the cage's opening was too small and the space was tight, making it difficult to move her to a bigger cage.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

Experts used honey to distract the bear while a vet sedated her.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

Female moon bears are easily recognize by their distinct fur color and patterns.

Tuan Bendixsen, Vietnam Director of Animals Asia, said the bear was one of the few unchipped creatures in Vietnam. It had been raised in captivity since 2005 and there were signs that its bile has been extracted.

Nam Dinh has another five bears being raised in captivity at a farm.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

People carry the sedated bear out for a health check.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

Vets trimmed off the bear's claws, took fur samples and performed other medical checks.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

The bear's blood samples were taken to determine its state of health before it was taken to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc Province, three hours drive away.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

A vet checks the bear's legs and joints carefully as it had spent 17 years in a small cage with just standing room.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

After 30 minutes of medical checks, the bear was placed in a bigger cage for transport.

Vet Pham Thi Lan Huong said the bear was dehydrated and had a broken tooth.

The bear has been named Paddington, after a cartoon bear character in the U.K.

Moon bear freed after 17 years of captivity

Paddington is loaded onto a truck to be taken to the rescue center.

Since 2006, Animals Asia has rescued and taken care of 252 moon bears and sun bears in Vietnam. 202 are currently living at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc.

 
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