7 bile bears rescued

Nov. 2020

Ninh Binh

Rescue of 7 bile bears


Asiatic black bears La, Lam, Sang, Dua, Khe, Oi and Xoai begin their new lives at BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh 

For the seven Asiatic black bears, who only knew life behind metal bars on two farms for almost 20 years – their new lives have just begun after our biggest bear rescue in 2020! The bears had no names, they were just known as numbers and have been farmed for their bile in the Binh Duong province all of their lives. These bears have endured a lifetime of misery and suffering. Years without any mental stimuli and species-appropriate diet or even access to water. It is almost unbearable to imagine what these bears have endured for so long.  

When FOUR PAWS found out about the bears, it was certain that they must be rescued! Negotiations and preparation began in order to bring them to a species-appropriate life at our BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh! However, very unfortunately such a rescue took lengthy planning, and when a typhoon hit Vietnam just days before their planned rescue, the bears had to wait even longer. 

But as the typhoon cleared, the team set out on the rescue mission to rescue these bears and save them from their misery once and for all. Under our care, these bears were no longer just numbers and the seven bears would get new names to start their new lives, these names are La, Lam, Sang, Dua, Khe, Oi and Xoai.  

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As the team arrived onsite, everything went extremely smoothly as all seven bears calmly walked into transport crates, of course, with some tasty honey to help the process. In their crates the bears remained calm as they received a meal, lots of straw, banana leaves and fresh water. Something they probably never experienced before.

On the 1,600 km journey across Vietnam to our sanctuary, which took 2 days, and almost 40-hours of driving, the bears received regular water and meals. Although the bears arrived at BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh, they are still far from reaching their destination, as only now their recovery process can start.

While the bears are finally safe, they are not healthy. During the rescue, our veterinarian already observed worrying symptoms that could indicate several health issues. This is not unusual, as bears that were abused for years in tiny cages on farms for their bile always have a variety of health problems. Dental disease is common, along with mobility issues and gallbladder and liver infections from the unsanitary bile extraction process.

But for now, the seven bears are now settling in at our sanctuary, they are in a comfortable environment until they will soon receive full medical vet checks and their healing can truly begin. We will update you on their progress soon!

Bile bear

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