Happy #MoonBearMonday everyone!
This month, staff at Animals Asia's Chengdu Bear Rescue Center are all smiles, but just nine months ago it was a different story.
Last October, hopes for a healthy future for rescued moon bear Edga took a dive when staff found evidence of a suspicious lump on what remained of her gall bladder.
When an ultrasound confirmed the growth it gave rise to fears that the years of cruel treatment Edga endured on a bile farm were finally about to catch up with her.
On bear bile farms in China and Vietnam, bears like Edga are subjected to a lifetime in a tiny cage so that the bile can be extracted from their gall bladder for use in traditional medicine.
Bile is extracted using various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause massive infection in the bears. Some bears are caged as cubs and never released, with many kept caged for up to 30 years. Most farmed bears are starved and dehydrated, and suffer from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them.
For the lucky few like Edga who are rescued, a cholecystectomy is often required to remove their ravaged gall bladder.
Edga had kept her gall bladder, until now.