Bear Experiences Freedom After Years of Captivity in Unsanitary Conditions

Buzz the Rescue Bear Will Begin His New Year With Grass Between His Nerves

Buzz, formerly a neglected bear, will begin his new year with grass between his toes. Buzz will be one of the very first bears to arrive at Animals Asia’s new sanctuary, located in the heart of Vietnam’s Bach Ma national park.

Animals Asia first learned of Buzz’s rescue in October, when the organization received a call from Vietnamese authorities requesting the rescue of Buzz and Armstrong, two other bears. The Vietnamese authorities said they had found Buzz and Armstrong in “small, bare, and dark cages,” where they were receiving regular painful extractions of their bile.

These bile farms are known for their inhumane and unsanitary conditions. Bile bears are often housed in cages that are too small for them to turn around or even stand up. The cages are so small that the bears grow up in them until their bodies are so big that they can’t fit through the bars, according to Animals Asia.

It was the first time the bears had been moved out of their cages since 2002 and transported to the sanctuary. 

Once the bears were placed in the sanctuary, they were placed under quarantine for a period of 30 days. 

This quarantine period is intended to provide intensive care for the bears, monitoring their mental and physical wellbeing. 

The quarantine period is also intended to prepare the bears for socialization in dens and enclosures, helping them gradually build strength and self-esteem.

In December, Buzz, who had been quarantined and treated for dehydration, dental problems, and malnourishment, made her first visit to the sanctuary’s large outdoor habitat.

It was captured on camera by Animals Asia. In the video, Buzz ducks her head out of the den into the large grassy enclosure. She hesitates for a moment, then licks her paws and takes a few steps out into the sunshine.

A couple of days later, the rescuers reunited Buzz with Armstrong, the second bear rescued from the same farm alongside Buzz.

The bond between the two bears is undeniable. Armstrong and Buzz have lived on the farm for over two decades and have never had direct contact with each other, but they always feel each other’s presence.

In their first encounter, they cuddled immediately after our team opened the sliding door. It was as if the two bears had been separated for a long time and had finally met after years of longing and lovemaking, Animals Asia reported.

Animals Asia hopes to save bears like Buzz and share their stories to bring attention to the effects of bear bile farming on bears. Moon bear and sun bear, two of the most common species used for bile farming in Vietnam, are on the brink of extinction, with an estimated 31% decrease in population over the past 30 years.