By Eric Fortney on This Dish Is Veg, August 2011
According to the Chinese media, a mother bear killed her cub before eventually killing herself, apparently in an attempt to save her baby from a life of pain and suffering on a bile farm in China.
The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for 'bear bile,' which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as 'crush cages', as the bears have no room to maneuver and are literally crushed.
The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears' abdomen and gall bladder.
These are some of the metal catheters that were inserted into the gall bladder of moon bears. They vary in length from about 14 cm. to nearly 19 cm. in length. Imagine the pain we would have if such a device were permanently installed through our abdomen and into our gall bladder.
Reports claim the mother bear heard her cub’s cries while workers attempted to puncture the stomach of the creature to harvest bile, which is believed to have healing properties.
The enraged mother bear broke free from her cage causing the workers to scatter in fear. She then made her way to her frightened cub and proceeded to make a futile attempt to free the scared animal.
After efforts to free her offspring failed, she hugged her cub before strangling it to death. Witnesses allege the mother bear dropped her dead cub before killing herself by running into a wall head first.
To learn more about cruel practice of bile farming, where bears are kept in tiny cages and endure years of physiological and psychological trauma, visit the WSPA.