Viet Nam News
GIA LAI — Experts from Animals Asia’s Việt Nam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Đảo National Park successfully rescued four Asian black bears from two farms in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.
The rescue was conducted last Friday in co-operation with the ranger force in Gia Lai and the bears were transfered to Tam Đảo National Park yesterday.
Animals Asia, an NGO, said in a statement that the bears – two males and two females – were in poor health, living in captivity at the farms for 10 years.
The centre said two bears had lost their legs and almost all the bears were found with tooth decay, while one bear had an abscess for the past seven years.
These bears, which were installed with a detection device, weigh between 80kg and 100kg.
Veterinarian from Animals Asia said the bears are bold and used to bite the steel bars of cage. For years, they did not get enough nutritional food.
As scheduled, these bears will receive treatment and healthcare for 45 days before being released in the semi-wildlife environment at the centre in Vĩnh Phúc Province.
The Asian black bear is a vulnerable species, according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature.
Animals Asia’s Việt Nam director Tuấn Bendixsen said: “Rescuing bears from bile farms carries inherent risks and no two rescues are ever exactly the same. Each animal has suffered terribly and react to that cruelty individually. The conditions on the farms too are never uniform. We receive what information we can from forestry officials in advance, but we never truly know what we’re dealing with until we arrive on the scene.”
Bile farming has been illegal in Việt Nam since 2007 and officially farms are not allowed to extract bile. But with limited resources and with bile extraction difficult to prove, the practice continues, albeit on a gradually reducing scale.
Bile is used in traditional medicine with bears kept in tiny cages and facing regular, painful bile extractions.
Over 1,200 bears have been rescued in recent years from farms or households where many are bred for milking bile, for performances or as pets. — VNS