TAM DAO NATIONAL PARK, Vietnam — An Asian black bear, also called a Moon bear, was splashing for joy when he arrived at his new home at the Tam Dao Rescue Center.
The beautiful moment captures the bear, which rescuers call Tuffy, feeling right at home as he playfully swam and jumped in the sanctuary pool, his first time in water in years.
Activists with Animals Asia said they rescued the bear from a bile farm, “where he’d spent years of torture in a tiny cage.”
Bear bile farming is a practice in which bears are held in captivity and their bile is harvested on a regular basis for use in traditional Chinese medicine.
Animals Asia says the bile is extracted using “various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause massive infection in the bears. This cruel practice continues despite the availability of a large number of effective and affordable herbal and synthetic alternatives.”
Animals rights activists estimate about 12,000 bears are currently held in bile farms across China, Vietnam, South Korea, Laos, and Myanmar.