Bear bile might seem like a bizarre product here in the U.S., but in many parts of Asia, it is revered as a traditional cure for everything from a hangover to arthritis. There is little evidence showing that bear bile is a superior medication to traditional pain relievers, like aspirin, and yet it is still widely used, much to the detriment of bears.
There are currently 12,000 bears living on bile farms in China and Vietnam. These animals will know nothing but pain and suffering their entire lives, confined to small cages that prevent bears from moving while their gallbladder fluid is repeatedly drained. A large majority of Chinese citizens condemn the cruel and painful practice, however, due to its continued legality and demand in the medicinal community, the procedure remains popular.
Last year, Animals Asia, an organization that has proudly saved and rehabilitated over 500 bears, spared two young sun bears from the grim world of bear bile farming. Coincidentally, the two cubs, named Goldie and Murphy, both endured the terrible loss of their mothers.
Goldie was rescued in April 2015, scared and alone at the age of six months, and needed some time to adjust to his new comfortable life. Murphy was rescued in July 2015, at six weeks old, and was given the nurturing protection he would have received from his mother.
Once these two bears became acclimated to their new surroundings, they were finally put in the same den.
After some initial sniffing around and toy sharing, the two became good friends and have been playing with each other ever since!
The two rambunctious cubs are often found chasing and wrestling each other.
While nothing could replace the love a mother could have given these two bear cubs, their companionship is invaluable! They are both tremendously energetic and playful, qualities that would have never flourished had they been captured and brought into the bear bile farming industry.
Thanks to Animals Asia’s Sanctuary, these sun bears never have to find out the cruelty of bear bile practices. Hopefully one day, more bear cubs will be able to say the same. To learn more about Goldie and Murphy, visit Animals Asia’s Sanctuary page.
All Image Source: Animals Asia