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Bile bear Hy Vong

© FOUR PAWS | 2015

Bile bear Hy Vong: From tiny cage to relaxing hammock

Hy Vong, an Asian black bear with the characteristic white crescent – which  is why they are called “moon bears” – was kept in terrible conditions on a farm in Vietnam, where for many years her bile was painfully extracted for use in traditional medicines.


In 2014, Hy Vong was taken to the “Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre” by her owner, because she had become useless for the bile industry. Although no puncture wound was visible on her stomach, ultrasonic scans revealed that her liver was covered with scars. This indicates that she was abused as a bile bear, although bile extraction has officially been banned in Vietnam since 1992! 

Hy Vong’s cage was just several square metres in size

Although Hy Vong had escaped the suffering of bile extraction in  her new home at the wildlife rescue centre Soc Son, her accommodation was still not species-appropriate. The cage she was living in was just a few square metres in size and Hy Vong could hardly move. When we saw her sad eyes for the first time, we knew that work needed to be done. We started our activities in Vietnam in order to support Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre Soc Son financially. New bear enclosures (a bear house followed by outdoor enclosures) were established to provide the bears more space. Now, the first enclosures have been built and Hy Vong was able to enter her new home for the very first time. We covered her first, tentative steps in her new home with our camera:

FOUR PAWS creates more space for 15 bears

This, however, is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work for us to do. The situation for Asiatic black bears in Vietnam is catastrophic. Since extracting bear bile  is against the law, many bear farms have had to close. Nevertheless, more than 1,200 bears still live in horrendous conditions on bear farms. 


It’s clear we need to stop this horrendous practice immediately. We want to help as many bears as possible, as soon as we can. Therefore, we plan to build a bear sanctuary in Vietnam offering a new home for abused bile bears.


If you want to support us rescuing bile bears in Vietnam, we would really appreciate your  donation: