Two moon bears rescued from Phu Tho bile farm

03 November 2020

Animal welfare organisation Animals Asia has rescued two moon bears from a bile farm in Vietnam today. The rescue team arrived early this morning local time at the bile farm in Phu Tho, just 65km from Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao.

The two female bears had been kept in cages in a shed with little sunlight or ventilation on the property for up to 20 years. Although extracting bile from bears has been illegal in Vietnam for decades, the sign at the front of the property clearly identifies the property as a bile farm, and these bears have no doubt been subject to the repeated, regular, painful extraction of bile over much of that time.

The bears, who have been named Storm and Torrent by their rescuers in acknowledgment of the devastating floods recently causing such loss and suffering in Vietnam, needed to be anesthetized to be removed from their cages. This allowed the resident veterinarian team to assess the health of the bears before transferring them into transport cages for the journey back to the Animals Asia sanctuary. 

Storm and Torrent will spend at least 45 days in quarantine at the sanctuary, before being moved into dens with access to outdoor areas, and eventually being integrated into the existing population of nearly 200 bears currently in the care of the charity in Vietnam.

In 2017 Animals Asia signed an exclusive MOU with the Vietnamese government to completely end bear bile farming in the country. With their existing sanctuary nearly at capacity, they are preparing to build a second Vietnam sanctuary next year in order to be able to rescue and care for the hundreds of bears still remaining on farms in Vietnam.