Bear Rescued from Narrow Cage at Bile Farm: He 'Can Live Out the Rest of His Life in Peace'

World Animal Protection

An Asiatic black bear named Cam, who was being held illegally for bear bile farming in the Hai Phong province of Vietnam, is officially free!

Last month, Cam was rescued from the neglectful conditions he was living in and transferred to a sanctuary run by FOUR PAWS International in Ninh Bin, where he will live out the rest of his days, according to a news release from World Animal Protection.

World Animal Protection, alongside FOUR PAWS International and local authorities, discovered Cam the bear during a monitoring trip of bear farms in the province.

Cam's rescuers found the animal illegally kept "in a narrow, steel cage," which made it hard for the five-year-old bear to move around freely.

"He was fed a poor diet that did not provide the nutrients he needed to live a healthy life," the news release added of the conditions Cam was found in.

In response, World Animal Protection, FOUR PAWS International, and Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) worked with the authorities to bring about Cam's release.

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World Animal Protection

In bear bile farming, bile is painfully extracted from Asiatic black bears and then sold to be used in black market medicines and tinctures, FOUR PAWS previously reported.

The extraction and trade of bear bile are forbidden by law in Vietnam. However, FOUR PAWS believes there are still hundreds of bears kept in Vietnam illegally for bile farming, even though the interest in bear bile has significantly dropped over the past five years.

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"Despite the strides made to end bear farming in Vietnam, hundreds of bears are still suffering a horrific and torturous life in captivity for their bile," Maya Pastakia, a global campaign manager at World Animal Protection, said in a statement. "This bear was kept in a tiny cage, which is typical of the way many of these bears are forced to live their lives. Their cages are small, cramped and barren, not much larger than a telephone booth, causing extreme physical and psychological suffering."

She added: "The government of Vietnam must close all remaining legal loopholes once and for all to end the barbaric and illegal practice of bear bile farming."

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Meanwhile, Barbara van Genne of FOUR PAWS International echoed Pastakia's sentiments in her own statement.

"We are thrilled that bear Cam will be joining the 41 other rescued bears at our sanctuary in Ninh Binh. Bear bile farming is extremely cruel and bears rescued from these farms are often psychologically scarred," she said. "But this is one more bear that can live out the rest of his life in peace, free from the pain and suffering previously inflicted on him."