Fourteen maimed and terrified moon bears are rescued
An Animal Rights Article from


Animals Asia
December 2011

Fourteen maimed and terrified moon bears have just arrived at our Vietnam sanctuary after a 1,250-mile, four-day road-trip with our rescue team from a terrible bile farm in the south.

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.

These latest bears are in a shocking state, both physically and mentally….. but at least they’re home ….. just in time for the holidays, and forever safe from the awful bile industry that caged and tortured them for years.

Please help us to give these latest bile farm victims every chance to recover and to learn to be the bears they were born to be. Our vets and bear carers are working around the clock to ease their pain and anxiety, and to prioritise the bears for surgery. Five are missing limbs — an almost sure sign they were snared illegally in the wild. Many have chronic dental and skin problems as well as dry and painful paw pads. At least one of the bears has an abdominal hernia, probably caused by the bile extraction process, and one is grossly overweight, as a result of poor diet and lack of exercise.

The moon bear was forced to live in pain in the cramped coffin-like metal cage for years.

This is a very special rescue for Animals Asia….. the bears' owner saw a TV show about our work and was so moved that he asked us to take them to our rescue centre because he wanted them to have a better life. His act of kindness means the world to these lucky bears who’ve known nothing but cruelty and the hard metal bars of their cages….. and it gives us hope that our message is getting through to those that need to hear it most. This rescue takes the number of bears we’ve rescued in Vietnam to 104 and now we have an even bigger challenge and responsibility in the months and years ahead. Any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated and really will make a difference to the bears. Please send our 14 new arrivals a special holiday gift with a donation to our rescue appeal.

Our 100th bear was the saddest of all, carrying the worst scars of this horrific industry. Tragically, she is missing her left forepaw (an all too familiar sign that she was caught in the wild with a leg-hold trap). Her right forepaw is also broken and useless. Her paw pads were severely cracked and hard from never being able to stand on ground. Her teeth and gums are infected and painful, which probably explains her reluctance to eat anything in those first few days but the soft fruit lovingly hand-fed to her by vet nurse Caroline. Slowly, her anxious eyes are showing signs of trust and her nose twitches in anticipation as she is showered with good food, soft bedding and toys.

Bear workers Tuan and Công aptly named her “Dream” because “she is a very miserable bear and needs to dream of nice things". Their touching description of this beautiful, but badly crippled, bear spoke for us all. Not too long from now we dream that her memories of the farm begin to fade as she hobbles around in her enclosure together with her friends..... free at last. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for Dream and the other 13 bears. But let’s never stop dreaming….. please give what you can so we can start to mend these broken bears, and continue our work to reach more “Mr Nguyens”.

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