Tortured Bears Show Big, Warm Personalities After Rescue
An extra happy #MoonBearMonday as we welcome home recently rescued moon bears Coco, Yogi and Bern.
Just a few days after being rescued from bear bile farms in the south of Vietnam, the personalities of these three beautiful bears are already starting to shine.
It is our great pleasure to share the first glimpses of these three wonderful personalities as they begin the road to recovery from 15 years of torture.
Possible age: Around 15-years old.
Condition: Coco is missing her left front paw, probably from being caught in a snare as a cub. The loss of this limb was the beginning of Coco's 15 years of suffering on a bear bile farm in Vietnam's Ben Tre province.
What we love about her: Beautiful Coco has quickly emerged as a keen nest-builder. A decade and a half in a cage hasn't broken this resilient bear's natural instinct to turn branches and leaves into a comfy bed. Thankfully, her example quickly spread to Yogi and Bern.
Favorite food: Coco isn't a fussy eater and has enjoyed every new food she's encountered on the trip. But most of all she just loves leaves - for eating and nest building.
Possible age: Around 15-years old.
Condition: Yogi is missing his right front paw, like Coco, most likely as a result of being caught in a poacher's snare. Yogi's health has suffered after 15 years on a bear bile farm. His head is scarred due to repeatedly being rubbed in frustration against the bears - a common, unnatural behavior in stressed and traumatized bears. Yogi's teeth are also in terrible condition with all four canines broken from biting at the bars of his cage and a lifetime of unsuitable food. This painful condition will require major dental surgery back at Animals Asia's sanctuary. An ultrasound also showed Yogi's gall bladder to be "clearly sickened" as a result of regular bile extraction.
What we love about him: Despite a lifetime of suffering, and constant pain from his badly broken teeth, sweet Yogi has shown a great curiosity for all the novelty he's experienced since his rescue. He's taking his pain-relief medicine every day and has learnt how to build a nest from watching Coco. With time, we hope this scarred bear will learn to trust humans despite all that has been done to him.
Favorite food: Yogi loves soft fruit, dried banana, honey, banana leaves and anything sweet.
Possible age: At least 10.
Condition: Bern was rescued without the use of anesthetic meaning he's yet to receive a health check. However, a visual examination showed him to be suffering from some hair loss on his head, most likely from rubbing against the cage bars. The veterinary team strongly suspect that Bern has suffered bile extraction and are keen to give him a full health check to ascertain his condition.
What we love about him: Bern has beautiful big Mickey Mouse ears and his teeth are in surprisingly good condition for a farm bear making him an especially handsome chap.
Favorite food: Bern doesn't turn away food, but give him some bananas and watch him hoover them up in no time.
For Coco, Yogi and Bern, the horrors of the bear bile industry are over. But around 1,200 moon and sun bears remain in captivity in Vietnam suffering regular bile extraction, with more than 10,000 believed to be suffering the same fate in China.
The precious fluid produced by the bear's gall bladder is prized in traditional medicine despite the existence and widespread availability of natural and synthetic alternatives.
To date Animals Asia has rescued over 500 bears from the industry in Vietnam and China and has vowed not to stop until Asia is bear bile farm free.