All across China, Asiatic black bears, known as "Moon Bears" because of the beautiful golden crescent on their chest, are imprisoned for more than 20 years in tiny metal cages no bigger than their bodies. The bears live a life of torture and die a slow agonizing death because of the market for the bile from their gall bladders, which is used in traditional medicine.
Bile is milked daily through rusting metal catheters implanted in their gall bladders, or by the "free-dipping" technique, using permanently infected open holes in their abdomens.
In July 2000, the Animals Asia Foundation led by Jill Robinson signed an agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and the Sichuan Forestry Department (SFD) which pledged to free 500 moon bears in Sichuan and to work towards the total elimination of bear farming. Since then, 85 bears have been successfully released in a bamboo forest sanctuary after undergoing extensive treatment and therapy in a rehabilitation center. In addition, the foundation works with traditional herbal medicine practitioners across the world to promote cruelty-free synthetic and herbal alternatives to bear bile and runs an education village to spread awareness and promote respect for these animals.
The Oakland Zoo supports the Animals Asia Foundation by raising money for their rehabilitation center and bamboo forest sanctuary.
For more information visit www.animalsasia.org
In the Field N. America
In the Field Africa
In the Field Asia
Hornbil Nest Project
Wildlife Conservation Society
In the Field L. America
In the Field Global
The Green Zoo