Have you ever heard of bear bile? Though bear bile farming is fairly unheard of in America, in Asia, the industry flourishes. Bile, which is the gallbladder fluid of bears, is used to create a traditional Asian medicine believed to treat gallbladder and liver diseases in humans, as well as other bizarre uses. However, extracting the bile 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, despite the fact that there are synthetic alternatives available that don’t require this sort of suffering.

But hope is not lost. There are many organizations working to save bears from this life of torture and cruelty, like Animals Asia. Normah JamJack and Rain, the two bears in this story, were rescued from the industry in Vietnam three years ago!

The sisters had been confiscated as cubs by traffickers, and the Animals Asia team traveled 900 kilometers round trip just to save them! But three years later, they’re soaring higher than ever. At the Animals Asia Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, the duo is climbing high and standing tall!

According to Animals Asia Vietnam Bear and Vet Team Director Annemarie Weegenaar, it’s been a difficult but transformative journey for the bears.

“As with all cubs we welcome to the sanctuary, they have had to cope with losing their mother at a very young age but to see them today playing together so carefree is wonderful. They’ve made a home here in the national park in Tam Dao – just as we have. Every day they can be seen climbing like this,” she said.

Sadly, in Vietnam, there are still over 1,200 bears subjected to a miserable life in the bear bile industry. Even still, these photos of Normah JamJack and Rain offer a slice of optimism that there is a bright future for former bile bears!

Perhaps these photos symbolize the difficulty and hardship Normah JamJack and Rain have had to overcome. But just look at them now! They’ve certainly showed strength, resilience, and super cuteness! Let’s make sure every bear has the opportunity to reach news heights, which means ending this barbaric industry once and for all.  Share this article to inform your friends and family about the cruelty of the bile industry – they might not even know it exists! You can also find out more about Animal Asia’s work by visiting their website.

All Image Source: Animals Asia/Flickr