Bear Sees Outside For First Time In 20 Years After Being Kept Inside

Bear Sees Outside For First Time In 20 Years After Being Kept Inside

Chinh, an Asiatic black bear, has been freed from captivity after spending over 20 years in a small indoor cage at a bear bile farm in Vietnam. This remarkable rescue was conducted by the global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS, with support from World Animal Protection and the Vietnam Forest Protection Department (FPD). On May 10, after years of living in distressing conditions, Chinh was moved to a sanctuary in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Bear bile farms are known for their inhumane practices, where bears endure painful bile extractions for use in traditional Asian medicines. The partnership between FOUR PAWS, World Animal Protection, and the FPD aims to monitor these farms and rescue bears without proper registration, encouraging owners to surrender their animals voluntarily. Chinh’s owner was eventually persuaded to give him up, leading to his rescue and transfer to the sanctuary.

During the journey, Chinh was accompanied by a veterinary team to ensure his safety. Remarkably, he did not need to be anesthetized, as he willingly entered his transport cage. This day likely marked the first time Chinh had felt sunlight in many years. Lindsay Oliver, the executive director of World Animal Protection US, expressed joy over Chinh’s freedom, highlighting the bear’s physical and psychological suffering endured from a young age.

At the sanctuary, Chinh is beginning to experience the freedom and joys he was denied for over two decades. He has transitioned from his cramped cage to a spacious semi-wild enclosure where he can run, play, and relax. Veterinary assessments revealed that Chinh has typical diseases related to bile farming, including severe tartar, fractured upper canines, and hyperkeratosis on his footpads from standing on metal bars. A comprehensive health check will be conducted to address these issues.

Chinh’s rescue follows FOUR PAWS’ successful rehoming of 14 other bears from the same bile farm, making him the fifteenth and final bear saved from that location. This effort highlights the ongoing battle against bear bile farming, which, although now illegal in Vietnam, persists due to pre-existing permits. With continued efforts from organizations like FOUR PAWS, there is hope that bear bile farming will eventually be eradicated entirely.