Bear bile is a popular remedy used in Traditional Asian Medicine. Yes, the name means exactly what it sounds like. This fluid is obtained by extracting bile from the bear’s gallbladder.
It is believed that bear bile possesses anti-inflammatory properties and it is used to treat a variety of conditions. Although there are many herbal and synthetic alternatives to bear bile, the bear bile industry is still immensely popular across Thailand, Cambodia and China.
Bear bile farms typically keep sun bears, moon bears and brown bears in small “crush” cages where they have their bile fluid extracted daily. Not only is this an incredibly painful experience for the bears, but they also rarely receive proper food or water and are deprived of medical care. Most bears develop malignant tumors and other ailments as a result of having their bile continuously drained.
Thankfully, Animals Asia is working to save bears from this sad existence. Most recently, they rescued two moon bears, Coco and Yogi, from this cruel fate.
Coco and Yogi spent 15 years in crush cages. Rescuers estimate that this is the first time they have been free from their cages since they were cubs.
The bile farmer who was keeping these bears decided to retire from the industry and set Coco and Yogi free.
Rescuers performed a medical assessment before taking Coco and Yogi to their new home at the Animals Asia sanctuary.
Both bears are missing front paws. This is a sign that they were poached from the wild as infants. They are also severely malnourished.
When the bear’s exams were complete, they were given a fresh meal of watermelon and pumpkin. This is just a taste of the wonderful fresh food they can expect in their future.
Yogi and Coco are now on the road to their new sanctuary home. With a proper diet and the freedom to forage and play in their enclosure, these two will forget their horrific past in no time!
Good luck, Yogi and Coco!
All image source: Animals Asia