Three moon bears rescued from notorious bear bile farming hotspots in Vietnam

11 April 2024

Welcome home Primrose, Snowdrop and Daffodil!

This week, three moon bears were rescued from a bear bile farm in Phung Thuong village, Vietnam, and brought safely home to our new sanctuary in the beautiful Bach Ma National Park.

Phung Thuong is a notorious bear bile farming hotspot, and holds the vast majority of bears who remain on bear farms in the country.

Vietnam’s bear bile farming hotspot

Bear bile has been used for centuries in parts of Asia as traditional medicine and is scientifically proven to treat certain ailments such as liver disease and gallstones. In the past bears were killed in the wild so their bile could be extracted, but in the 1980s bear bile farming exploded when people realised they could get a regular supply from live bears.

Change through kindness

Bear bile is entrenched in Vietnam's history and culture, especially so in Phung Thuong. Because of this and the private, close-knit nature of the village, Animals Asia has focused its efforts on reducing demand there through promoting bear bile alternatives and working with schools to talk about the sentience of bears and the importance of preserving the species.

Working with the government

This rescue, as with many undertaken in Phung Thuong, was mostly carried out by the Forest Protection Department (FPD). The FPD is the Vietnam government department responsible for protecting the country’s wildlife and natural habitats, and Animals Asia’s partner in actively ending bear bile farming in the country.

The FPD hopes that this rescue will encourage other farmers in the village where 90 bears - the largest number of bears on bile farms - still remain, to hand their bears over to Animals Asia’s care.

Spring flowers blossom

To celebrate the rescue of these bears, we’ve nicknamed them after three blossoms that burst into life in the springtime: Primrose, Snowdrop and Daffodil. The birth of a new season and the natural gifts it brings signifying new life, new beginnings and hope - not only for these bears, but for all the bears that remain on bile farms across Vietnam.

Read more

Phung Thuong Children Learn About Bears

Animals Asia Gives Herbal Recipe Book To Phung Thuong Villagers

Seven Bears Rescued From Phung Thuong Village