Chinh bear rescue in Binh Duong

Bear rescue marks the closure of a bear bile farm in Binh Duong province


After 20 years in a tiny cage, the Asiatic black bear will finally be able to feel the warmth of the sun on his back, roam freely, and express his natural behaviours.

Image: FOUR PAWS team member assesses Chinh. Credit: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections

Thanks to your ongoing support for monitoring, fourteen bears have previously been surrendered from this farm between 2019 and 2022, with Chinh now the fifteenth and final bear.

Chinh had been living in a tiny 1.5m x 1.5m steel cage on this farm for around 20 years. He will now live a peaceful life at the FOUR PAWS bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh and enjoy 5.5 hectares of a semi-wild environment full of enrichments.

Maya Pastakia, International Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection

Maya Pastakia, International Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection

"Chinh was just a small bear cub when he arrived to be used for bear bile. He has suffered a terrible life in captivity for 20 years, experiencing both physical and psychological trauma. Trapped in a tiny cage, unable to see the sun or roam and behave freely, as he would in the wild, he would have had his bile frequently extracted which involves a painful process of extracting bile from the gallbladder.

"It must have been incredibly distressing for Chinh to witness 14 other bears leaving the farm and to be the last bear remaining. We are relieved that at least there’s one less bear bile farm in Vietnam and we will continue our fight to end bear bile farming in the country.

"The Vietnamese government must close all remaining legal loopholes to end the suffering of bile bears for good. We must ensure this is the last generation of bears to suffer in appalling captive conditions. Chinh deserves the rehabilitation on offer at FOUR PAWS sanctuary in Ninh Binh, and a life of greater dignity."

Bear rescue: Chinh the bear is finally free

Image credit: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections

Although the practice of extracting bile from bears like Chinh became illegal in 2005, a legal loophole allows bear owners to keep their bears as 'pets'. This has provided cover for illegal bile extraction in Vietnam.

Lesley Halter-Gölkel, a veterinarian, FOUR PAWS, said:

Upon rescue, Chinh was calm. He has already taken some food from us including bananas and morning glory. He has acute tartar and fractured upper canines. His claws are very long, and he has severe hyperkeratosis on his footpads which is caused by standing on metal bars over the last years.

Chinh also has alopecia on his head from stereotypical behaviour (abnormal repetitive behaviours). From observation, we assume that he has typical disease related to bile farming - but we will perform a full health check under anaesthesia including general clinical examination blood examination, X-ray, ultrasound, and endoscopy at our sanctuary veterinary clinic.

Bear rescue: Chinh the bear is finally free

Image credit: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections

For almost 20 years, World Animal Protection, alongside other NGOs have worked with the Vietnamese government to end the cruel practice of bear bile farming, and to protect the small population of bears remaining in the wild.

Thanks to your ongoing support of our collaborative efforts, there are now more bears in sanctuaries run by NGOs and government rescue centres than on farms in Vietnam.

Together, we can end bear bile farming. Forever.

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