Moon bear Precious is among friends, but still hasn’t learned how to trust

20 August 2019

Precious profile GOOD

Up to 17 years caged alone has left moon bear Precious not yet able to make friends with her fellow bile farm survivors.

For up to 17 years, she was a moon bear with no name. Poached from the wild as a cub, she was locked alone in a barren metal cage.

She had no way of knowing, but she would spend nearly two decades completely removed from nature and unable to express any natural behaviours. 

Even worse, she was periodically knocked unconscious and unsterilised needles were used to puncture her body so that her bile could be extracted for use in traditional medicine.

But since being rescued by Animals Asia and the charity’s supporters in 2018, this nameless victim, who suffered alone for so many years, is now a much-loved and respected member of Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre.

Today, she is Precious, a name that reflects the innate, immeasurable value of her individuality.

Sanctuary vets have taken away her pain through dental surgery on fractured and infected teeth.

She spends her days roaming a vast, outdoor enclosure filled with swimming pools, grass, trees and climbing structures designed to encourage natural behaviours.

And she is surrounded by friends, a treasured member of a community of 19 rescued moon bears all recovering from extreme cruelty on bear bile farms.

Precious sitting on platform eating GOOD

Animals Asia Bear Manager Amanda Catwell said: 

“Precious is still a shy bear who is not yet sure how to interact with other bears. Moon bear Bi Xanh has convinced her to play on occasion which is very positive. I even saw Precious try to initiate play with him, but moon bear Snow wanted to join in on the fun which caused Precious to panic and run off.

“It can often be two steps forward, one step back with this beautiful individual, but we are seeing progress and I’m sure it won’t be long till Precious finds her best friends and gains the confidence to gently play with them.”

Precious smiling by log pile

Animals Asia was the first charity to address the issue of bear bile farming in Vietnam having worked in the country since 1999. 

The charity’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre welcomed its first residents in 2007 providing a vital alternative to bears in desperate need of rescue.

A decade after opening the Vietnam sanctuary’s doors, the organisation’s work culminated in 2017 when Animals Asia became the Vietnam government’s official partner to end bear bile farming in the country.

Animals Asia is now leading a monumental project which will see every bear rescued and every farm closed in Vietnam by 2022.

Moon bears desperately need our help. They are the most playful, but also the most exploited bear on Earth and none of their suffering is necessary.

Bears like Precious should never have to suffer endless bile extraction for traditional medicine. But they have no voice, and need you to stand up for them.

Sign the pledge to join the global movement against cruelty to moon bears and join thousands of #MoonBearHeroes pushing for change.