Bear - Bile - Farming

f you look at the statistic you might find the situation of bears in Vietnam not as bad as it is. There are about 2.700 bears in Vietnam. But only 200 are in the wild, 100 are in a rescue centre and around 2,400 bears are kept on bile farms in Vietnam.

The bears are usually imprisoned in stark metal cages for their entire short live. To extract their bile, the bears are drugged and an ultrasound machine is used to locate the gall bladder; their abdomens are then repeatedly jabbed with 4-inch unsterilized needles until the gall bladder is pierced and the bile can be pumped out.

The bears' are severely damaged from being repeatedly jabbed every few weeks and the process also leads to the dangerous leakage of bile into the body. The result of this leakage can be a slow, agonizing death from peritonitis. Their physical pain is compounded with the mental stress that this horrific situation causes and many bears end up psychologically damaged.

Many bears are caught in the wild either in Vietnam or neighboring countries such as Laos, Cambodia and China. Central to rescue the bears is one rescue centre in Tam Dao National Park. It is the only sanctuary in Vietnam dedicated to the rescue of bears, and actually home to 104 moon and sun bears rescued from the bear bile trade.

Here some images I took when part of the Hanoi Photo Club visited the site.