years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Statement on story relating to “mother bear killing cub and committing suicide”
12 March 2013
Animals Asia is aware of a story that has been circulating on the internet regarding a bear on a bile farm in China breaking free from its cage, killing its cub, and then committing suicide.
Animals Asia does not believe this story is accurate and has been unable to verify its original source. The story doesn’t replicate typical bear behaviour as we know it. We’ve been trying to source the facts of the story for a number of years and haven't been able to find anyone that can substantiate it.
To our knowledge, the story was first reported in English on 5 August, 2011 on the AsiaOne website. The story however has previously been circulating in China for a number of years. Since the AsiaOne article it has now been repeated across other English-language media and social media.
Throughout this time, the story has been referenced in conjunction with our work to end bear bile farming, leading to journalists and supporters raising it with us. We have repeatedly voiced our concerns about the validity of the story.
In addition, as with the AsiaOne story, images used to illustrate the story are frequently of Animals Asia staff or bears. In the AsiaOne case the pictures used to illustrate the story are many years old and show Animals Asia veterinary staff anaesthetising and health checking a previously farmed bear.
As an organisation we are aware that, while the sharing of this story has raised awareness of the bear bile industry, we need to be absolutely transparent in our own reporting of the cruelty that continues. Where appropriate that also includes correcting any misreporting of details that reference ourselves or the bear bile industry as a whole.
The horror and cruelty of bear bile farming continues with more than 10,000 bears on farms in China, and 2,400 in Vietnam. It’s important that we continue to create awareness based on information we believe to be true. There is little need to further exaggerate the horrendous cruelty of the bear bile industry.
Regardless, the confinement and cruelty these bears suffer on farms across Asia is profound, and our work continues towards ending bear bile farming.