This spring, on 31 March 2008, 28 more moon bears arrived at Animals Asia's Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Chengdu, bringing to 247 the total number of bears saved from lives of torture on cruel bile farms in China. But already, 11 are dead, the victims of a barbaric industry.
One emaciated bear brought to the rescue centre in Chengdu was dead on arrival, his body still warm. One died of prior injuries and nine more have been euthanised.
Each was riddled with chronic, liver cancer, as well as a litany of other agonising ailments. All were in impossibly small cages, all skeletal, wounded in various ways, and terrified of what would happen in this next stage of their lives.
Some are blind, some have shattered teeth and grotesquely ulcerated gums, some have shocking necrotic wounds, their flesh literally rotting down to the bone. Most arrived with open wounds in their abdomens from the free-drip method of bile extraction, with some leaking bile, blood and pus. The number of bears in such an atrocious condition was unprecedented.
Twenty-eight bears arrived at the sanctuary in the most appalling condition we've ever seen.
As the bears were unloaded from the trucks, Jill offered them fruit, a taste of kindness.
Chengdu Truth was euthanised the following day. He was riddled with liver cancer, an angry tumour protuding from his belly.
Peace's paw had become trapped in the bars of his cage and was literally rotting away.
This latest rescue brings to 247 the total number of bears Animals Asia has saved from lives of torture on bile farms in China.
More than 7,000 bears are still trapped in farms throughout China. Some have been incarcerated for more than 20 years.
Our vets were shocked that emaciated Chengdu Truth was still alive.
Peace died on the way to the rescue centre, such was the extent of his abuse.
Kiki's lips and eyes were covered in ulcers. He tried to eat, but the pain was too much.
Wilfred was nicknamed "Watermelon" after he managed to eat a piece of the fruit.
Day after day, the vet team had to make the painful decision to euthanise rescued bears.