FOUR PAWS rescues nine bile bears after more than 17 years in tiny cages

Nine reasons an end to bear bile farming is within our grasp

Nine bears exploited for their bile have been rescued across three bear bile farms in Vietnam 


14 February 2022 – Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has successfully completed its biggest bear rescue to date: On 10 and 11 February, the FOUR PAWS team rescued nine Asiatic black bears from three bear farms in Binh Duong province in southern Vietnam.  

Bears Vui, Nui, An, Teo, Tai, Tin, Khoi, Danh, and Thi were rescued from three separate bear bile farms in Vietnam. Many of them with physical scars and even missing limbs, after a solitary life of suffering. Their ages are currently not known but they have all spent at least 17 years cramped in tiny cages on the bear farms. 

After travelling 1,600 kilometres to Binh Duong province, the FOUR PAWS team brought the bears back to BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh in a 42-hour journey. Now, safely at the sanctuary and already settling in, with soft beds, healthy food, enrichment and medical treatment, these bears can finally heal. They suffer from an extensive array of ailments found in former bile bears and the first months of care will be very intensive. 

As the biggest bear rescue to date for the global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, it marks yet another step towards the eradication of bear bile farming from Vietnam. 

FOUR PAWS congratulates Binh Duong province authorities on their efforts to phase out bear bile farming in Vietnam and is calling on the Hanoi authorities to close legal loopholes that allow for bear bile farming to continue under the premise of keeping bears as pets and to finally end bear farming

“We are so proud that in one rescue we have been able to free so many bears and bring an end to their 17 years of cruel confinement in cages.  

However, all bears still kept on bear farms in Vietnam are suffering. They experience a life of misery from cruel keeping conditions and painful bile extraction, which is illegal but still done. They are locked up in metal cages, often not much larger than the bear itself, lined up in dark sheds without any sunlight. Bears need to roam around; climb, dig and swim. The remaining bears in Vietnam still have a chance at a better life, but only if all province authorities are fully committed to finally ending bear bile farming in the country."

Sonul Badiani-Hamment, FOUR PAWS UK Country Director.

As a nation of animal lovers, nearly 70,000 people across the UK signed FOUR PAWS UK’s petition to end bile bear farming in Vietnam. 

BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh: A species-appropriate home for rescued bears 

FOUR PAWS has been working with local partners since 2017 to rescue as many bears as possible from their sad fate. With its bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh, FOUR PAWS is supporting the Vietnamese government to contribute to an end of bear farming in Vietnam and provide a species-appropriate home for rescued bears. BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh is not only a safe home for former bile bears, but also, an awareness and education centre for wildlife conservation in Vietnam. With the newly rescued bears it is currently home to 48 Asiatic black bears. 

Asiatic black bears are native to Vietnam and on the brink of local extinction because of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade where demand for their parts and derivatives remains.  

Asiatic black bear in Vietnam

Learn more about bears in Vietnam


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Head of Communications UK: Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK

020 7922 7954

07966 032 235

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