In the U.S., the concept of consuming bear bile might seem absurd, but in part of Asia, it is considered to be a potent medicine. Unfortunately, extracting the gallbladder fluid to create this “medicine” is an extremely painful and cruel process. Bears used in this industry are kept in tiny crush cages that keep them from moving when sharp catheters are inserted to extract their bile fluid. These animals will spend their entire lives in pain and fear, and the most heartbreaking part is there are synthetic alternatives available that don’t require this sort of suffering. Thankfully, there are many organizations working to rescue bears from this life.

Xuan Xuan is one such rescued bear who is now living in the safety of Animals Asia’s sanctuary. This sweet bear was saved in 2013 but her road to recovery has been a long one.

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Life in a bile farm took a serious toll on this bear. She had to have her gallbladder and some teeth removed once in the care of the Animals Asia vet team.

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She had to spend three months indoors while she recovered. But once she was out of the woods, she was finally able to experience the great outdoors!

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This image captures her first steps onto the warm, soft grass.

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These days, she is able to put the past behind her and enjoy a beautiful spring day playing outside, as every bear should.

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If you would like to learn more about Animals Asia nd their international life-saving operations, you may visit their website here.

All image source: Animals Asia