Five Asian black bears have been rescued from a bile farm in southern Vietnam after 21 years in captivity and given a new home in a sanctuary more than a thousand miles away.
Named LeBon, Kim, Mai, Star and Mekong, they were among up to 800 bears that are kept on Vietnamese farms for their bile. According to Animals Asia, the charity that oversaw the rescue, the process used to extract the bile is both gruesome and painful, involving either a “free drip” method in which the bear, kept in a tiny cage, has a hole cut in its gall bladder, or the insertion of a permanent catheter. The Times reports.
The practice has been banned in Vietnam since 2005 but farmers are allowed to keep the animals
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