Bear Kept in Tiny Indoor Cage Sees the Outdoors for the First Time in 20 Years During His Rescue

Chinh the moon bear is now focused on relaxation and rehabilitation at FOUR PAWS' sanctuary in Vietnam

<p>World Animal Protection/ One Touch Connections</p> Chinh the bear with a FOUR PAWS rescuer

World Animal Protection/ One Touch Connections

Chinh the bear with a FOUR PAWS rescuer

A bear is again enjoying nature's beauty after spending 20 years in captivity at a bile farm.

Chinh, an Asiatic black bear, also known as a moon bear, spent over two decades at a bear bile farm in Vietnam, where he lived in a small indoor cage. At bile farms, captive bears endure painful bile extractions so the material can be used in traditional Asian medicines.

The global animal welfare organization, FOUR PAWS, supported by the World Animal Protection and the Vietnam Forest Protection Department (FPD), works in Vietnam to move bears out of bile farms and into sanctuaries.

Through their partnership with World Animal Protection and FPD, FOUR PAWS helps monitor bear bile farms across Vietnam. This program identifies bears without proper registration and moves them to sanctuaries to prevent new bears from the wild or other sources from entering the bile farming industry. Additionally, the program between the three organizations also encourages bear bile farmers to surrender their animals to rescue groups voluntarily.

Related: Orphaned Black Bear Cub Siblings Return to the Wild After Being Rehabbed by San Diego Humane Society

In Chinh's case, his owner was persuaded to surrender the bear. So on May 10, after careful planning, FOUR PAWS rescuers moved Chinh from the farm where he had been kept in a cage for 20 years to FOUR PAWS' bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

<p>World Animal Protection/ One Touch Connections</p>

World Animal Protection/ One Touch Connections

For the transport, FOUR PAWS worked with a veterinary team to ensure Chinh made the trip safely. The bear did not have to be anesthetized during the journey since he willingly entered his transport cage. After spending most of his life in a small indoor cage, Chinh's rescue day was likely the first time the bear had felt sunlight in years.

At the sanctuary, Chinh is starting to enjoy the pleasures he was denied over the past two decades. The bear has moved from his tiny cage, where he barely had room to move, to a semi-wild sanctuary enclosure with acres of land where the Chinh can run, play, and relax.

The bear needs to heal before he can fully appreciate all the new features of his forever home.

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"Upon rescue, Chinh was calm. He has already taken some food from us, including bananas and Morning Glory. He has acute tartar and fractured upper canines. His claws are very long, and he has severe hyperkeratosis on his footpads, which has been caused by standing on metal bars over the last years," Lesley Halter-Gölkel, a veterinarian at FOUR PAWS, shared in a statement.

<p>World Animal Protection/ One Touch Connections</p> Chinh the bear in a transport cage on the way to FOUR PAWS' sanctuary in Vietnam

World Animal Protection/ One Touch Connections

Chinh the bear in a transport cage on the way to FOUR PAWS' sanctuary in Vietnam

"From observation, we assume that he has typical disease related to bile farming - but we will perform a full health check under anesthesia, including general clinical examination, blood examination, X-ray, ultrasound, and endoscopy at our sanctuary veterinary clinic," the vet added.

Related: Animal Welfare Group Saves 24 Cats and Dogs from Death by Shutting Down Vietnam Slaughterhouse

Before Chinh, FOUR PAWS took in 14 other bears from the same bile farm. Chinh is the fifteenth and final bear from the farm. Thanks to efforts like this, more bile farm bears live in sanctuaries and rescues than on the farms themselves.

FOUR PAWS hopes that, with continued efforts, bear bile farming — which is now illegal in Vietnam, but the captivity continues at the farms permitted to keep bears obtained before the ban — will be done for good.

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