Moon bears, or Asiatic black bears, are a rare sight in the U.S. These animals are native to the Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, and can be found across Korea, parts of China and Japan, and they are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN largely due to deforestation and poaching for bear bile. Knowing this, you might wonder how Lily the bear ended up living Maryland – this is something that absolutely merits your confusion and bewilderment.

Unfortunately, Lily was being kept at the Deer Haven Mini Zoo where she lived in a tiny, filthy cage for 10 years of her life. In the wild, Moon bears have access to wide open spaces to forage for food and trees to climb. Without either of these things, Lily became morbidly obese and suffered immensely from the boredom spawned from her captivity. 

When PETA discovered Lily’s condition, they immediately set to work asking for the release of this poor bear. After a lot of campaigning and coordination, we are happy to say that this sweet Moon bear finally has the life she deserves! In the video above we see Lily set foot in her new enclosure at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. What a happy moment! Once she has adjusted to her new environment, she will get access to an even larger space where she can spread her toes and experience all the wonders of life as a bear!