Gorgeous rescued bear is safe and now has her first real name: Precious
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org


November 2018

200th ‘bile bear' saved in Vietnam, thanks to you!

Rescued after 17 years of isolation and abuse on a bile farm in Vietnam, moon bear Precious is now an individual... As a result of Precious’ rescue, the bile farm has been shut down and the owners will never again be able to keep bears.

For 17 years, this poor moon bear was nobody.

Her value was measured by how much money she could provide her owner – how much bile her abused body could produce, minus how much rice gruel she needed to survive.

She was numbers, currency, economics…a commodity.

But since she was rescued by Animals Asia last week, all this has changed.

Now this beautiful moon bear is recognised as an individual. She is a thinking, feeling, sentient being whose life matters.

And in recognition of her individuality, she has received her first name.

The people around the world who chipped in what they could to rescue her, have given her the most perfect name for such as special bear.

Precious Bear

Her name is Precious and from now on, her needs come first.

Animals Asia Vietnam Bear and Vet Team Director, Heidi Quine said:

“The whole team is delighted for Precious. Ever since she arrived, we’ve been working to build her trust, keep her calm throughout this period of huge change and let her know that we are here to help, not hurt her.
“Precious is just the most perfect name for such a special bear whose life and feelings have immense value for their own sake. We can’t wait for Precious to begin to enjoy her new life here in sanctuary.”

At Animals Asia’s sanctuary, Precious will receive the health care she needs to recover from a lifetime of cruelty.

An initial health check during the rescue revealed Precious was suffering from a broken tooth, cracked, dry paws from never stepping on grass, her gall bladder lining was thickened and one of her claws had grown into her paws showing chronic neglect.

Thankfully, all these issues can be corrected at sanctuary, finally freeing Precious from the constant pain she has endured for years.

After completing a 45-day quarantine period, Precious’s rehabilitation will see her eventually introduced to other bears, and, when she is physically and psychologically ready, she will receive access to a large outdoor enclosure

Precious was originally thought to have been around three years old when registered in 2005. However, her owner claims she bought the bear 17 years ago when she was just a cub of 34 kilogrammes.

As a result of Precious’ rescue, the bile farm has been shut down and the owners will never again be able to keep bears.

bear bile cage

Moon bears such as Precious are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, and categorised as endangered by CITES. More than 10,000 are held on bear bile farms in China, and around 800 are also trapped in cages as part of the industry in Vietnam.

Animals Asia began to take on the issue of bear bile farming in Vietnam in 1999, opening its Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre (VBRC), the first sanctuary devoted to bears in that country, in 2008.

Bear bile farming has been illegal in Vietnam since 2005 when every bear in captivity was microchipped. However, without facilities to hold the over 4,000 bears on farms at the time, those holding the bears were permitted to keep them, and the practice persisted.

However, in 2017, the government signed a landmark partnership agreement with Animals Asia that will see every farm closed and the remaining approximately 800 bears sent to sanctuaries by 2022 as the country works to eradicate the cruel trade.

After 17 years of cruelty and neglect, Precious faces many weeks and months of intensive veterinary care and rehabilitation. Vets are very concerned about the state of her gall bladder, punctured repeatedly to steal her bile. Precious needs your help to heal. Please send a gift to fund her ongoing care. 

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