The morning after a late night out on the town, most of us fumble blindly for a glass of water, hoping against hope that it is full. Or, if we’re feeling super ambitious, we might even venture into the kitchen and brave the roar of the blender for a smoothie. But how about a glass of bear bile? Seriously. Some sects of Asian medicine have used bear bile as a panacea of sorts for thousands of years  – from a hangover to arthritis, bear bile is the prescription.

This belief has resulted in a practice know as bear bile farming. Bear bile farming is one of the cruelest practices in the history of animal/human relations. The bear is placed in a “crush” cage – which is exactly what it sounds like – and then stabbed with a sharp object to drain the bile from their gallbladder. These “farmers” try to get bears at a young age because they are easier to handle. Most bears caught in this sadistic cycle only live to be five years old. In the mountains of the Yibin, China, two adolescent orphaned Moon bears were recently rescued by Animal Asia and brought to their sanctuary. Assistant Bear Manager Ai Chao Jun said, “If we hadn’t been able to rescue them, the fear was they’d have ended up at a bear bile farm.” Luckily, the two cubs, Holly and Wang Cai, seem to have adjusted quite well to their new home.

They spend their days rocking … very hard.

Playing rock, paper, scissors – but bear claw always beats everything. Even though it’s kind of cheating. 

They love climbing trees. 

But sometimes getting down is a little tricky . . . 

They also spend a lot of the time maintaining their public persona of all-around coolness.

“We look super tough right now, right?”




You can also learn more about how you can get involved in the conservation effort to protect other bears like these two (plus see more awesome pictures of Holly and Wang Cai) on Animal Asia’s website.

All image source: Animal Asia