Nineteen moon bears already languishing in desperate conditions in Vietnam may have just received a death sentence.
The advocacy group Animals Asia says a new decision by the Vietnamese government nearly guarantees that the bears will perish in bear bile farms in Halong Bay, Vietnam, where they wait in "shocking" conditions. When Animals Asia conducted an investigation of the Halong Bay bear farms in December, it found 49 starving bears, some covered with open wounds and some with missing limbs.
Just a few months later, according to the group, only 19 of those bears now remain. The other 30 all presumably succumbed to starvation or illness. And because the Vietnamese government is delaying a final decision on the surviving bears' rescue for six months, all of the Halong Bay bears could die before they get the help they so desperately need.
"The bears don't have six months," Animals Asia CEO Jill Robinson says in a statement. "If they continue to die at their present rate there will be no decision left to take."