FOUR PAWS International has been behind some of the biggest animal rescue stories lately, saving animals in need from lives of shocking neglect and abuse. They were behind the relocation of Kaavan “the world’s loneliest elephant,” shut down an infamous Pakistani zoo above a mall and freed 16 dogs from a slaughterhouse.
And lately, they’ve been on another mission: saving bears from lives of torture, as these animals are farmed for their bile.
In Vietnam, Asiatic black bears are often kept for their bile, which can be sold on the black market for use in traditional medicines. While the sales are banned in the country, FOUR PAWS estimates that there are still 385 bears being kept in 124 farms.
These bears live lives of misery, being kept in small cages and are subject to a painful extraction procedure. The bile is extracted from their gallbladders with a needle puncture, and the bears are often improperly anesthetized. This also leads to complications like chronic liver and gallbladder disease.
But FOUR PAWS has had success in rescuing these bears, relocating them to their Bear Sanctuary created specially for these “bile bears.” In March, they successfully freed two bears named Xuan and Mo.
And recently, they were at it again, saving a black bear named Cam from a life of torture.
FOUR PAWS got word of Cam being kept in a Vietnamese bear bile farm. Like many bears in his situation, he was clearly miserable, trying to get out of his too-small cage.
“Cam was found in cruel conditions on a bile bear farm,” FOUR PAWS wrote. “We urgently want to save him.”
On April 28, the rescue group put their rescue plan into action, arriving in Ninh Binh to free Cam.
However, it was no easy task. Cam was understandably distressed, “underweight and exhausted.”
FOUR PAWS also said that while they had permission to take the bear, they weren’t given proper time to calmly walk him into the transport crate.
Nonetheless, the experienced professionals made due and got Cam to safety.
“Since our experienced staff is full of heroines and heroes, they made the best of the situation, as well as the short time, and succeeded with this challenging and rushed mission,” FOUR PAWS wrote.
Cam then arrived in their Ninh Binh Bear Sanctuary, a special site they created as a haven for the bile bears, and he received veterinary care.
The staff gave him watermelon and honey treats to help him settle in.
It’s possible that Cam will need time to recover. In previous cases, bile bears were found to be suffering from multiple health issues, including worn-out teeth from chewing on steel cage bars out of boredom.
“The cages are extremely tiny, scarcely larger than the bears themselves and completely devoid of stimuli. The bears lack everything,” said Magdalena Scherk-Trettin, FOUR PAWS Project Coordinator for Bear Rescues.
But thanks to his rescuers, Cam is in much better hands now, and will be able to recover in his new sanctuary home.
Congrats to FOUR PAWS on another successful bear rescue! Thank you for all the hard work you put in to saving this poor bear.
We hope Cam has a great life after being saved from such torture. Share this inspiring story!