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A bear named Paddington was rescued from a tiny cage at a cruel bile farm in Vietnam after seventeen years, thanks to Animals Asia.

Source: Animals Asia/YouTube

Animals Asia, an animal welfare charity, saved Paddington the Asian black bear from a bile farm last week. When the organization first learned about Paddington through the Forest Protection Department in Nam Dinh, Vietnam, they knew they needed to save her. The Forest Protection Department told the organization that an officer had spotted Paddington stuck in the small cage at the farm. Animals Asia, along with Vietnamese authorities, has been working together in recent years to end bear bile farming in the country.

There are an estimated 310 bears still on bile farms around the country who need to be moved to sanctuaries. Bear bile farming consists of locking bears, usually Asiatic black bears or sun bears, in wire cages so small they cannot move around. The animals are hooked up with catheters and are “milked” for their bile over and over again for the rest of their lives. Their bile is then used in traditional eastern medicines. Although the practice is illegal in Vietnam, many farmers have found legal loopholes in the ban.

Source: Animals Asia/YouTube

Animals Asia contacted Paddington’s keeper, who agreed to surrender the bear. They told the organization that they first purchased Paddington in 2005 from a wildlife trader. Animals Asia believes that Paddington spent 17 long years in a small confined cage, having years of painful bile extractions.

After her rescue, Paddington was treated with marmalade, banana leaves, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, and apples. Once she finished her 30-day quarantine period at the sanctuary, she will be able to explore her new expansive home with other rescue bears.

“She was really dehydrated. Her upper canine on the right side is broken with exposed pulp. This will need to be fixed, and when she is settled at the sanctuary, our vets will perform a root canal. This effective treatment will help save the tooth and avoid much pain for her. She also has a lot of tartar on her teeth which will be solved with a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and veggies at the sanctuary. The team hasn’t found any abnormal signs in her gall bladder through ultrasound,” Animals Asia said in a statement to PEOPLE.

To learn more about Animals Asia and how you can help with their new sanctuary for bears, please visit Animals Asia.

Vietnam has already agreed to close all bear bile farms. Now sign this petition to ask Malaysia once and for all to end bear bile trade within their borders!

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