It took two decades for moon bears – otherwise known as Asian black bears – Bonnie, Clyde, and Kindness to enjoy the enigmatic beauties of the outside world. During this time, they were the victims of an illegal yet bustling bear bile market – a widely sought-after component within traditional medicine.
For twenty years, they didn’t see the light of day. While suffering within the confinements of small and rusty cells that allowed them to move neither left nor right, criminals were cruelly extracting bile, a fluid found in the gallbladder, for economic gain. The rotting cells are so disgraceful I doubt they’d be allowed anywhere near Riker’s Island.
Ursodeoxycholic acid kept these bears from enjoying life’s simple treasures: fresh air, blue skies, and the freedom to roam. Traded extensively across the black market, it’s adopted within several medicinal practices, from treating liver disease to alleviating inflammation. Other purposes include improving eye conditions and reducing fevers by siphoning its antipyretic agent.
Where are the Bears?
Rescued by Animals Asia somewhere in Vietnam, a remarkable foundation focusing on the freedom of tortured bears, they moved Bonnie, Clyde, and Kindness to their Northern Vietnam sanctuary bordered by Laos and China.
Once they arrived, a dedicated team worked tirelessly (and patiently) to seamlessly integrate each moon bear into sanctuary living. In other words, showing them how to be comfortable outdoors – where they were always supposed to be.
Watch Their First Steps Here:
Characteristics of Asian Black Bears:
Asian black bears are medium-sized bears with a robust build. They possess strong limbs, sharp claws, and a short, stout snout. One distinctive trait is the presence of a ‘V’ or ‘Y’-shaped white mark on their chest, a feature that varies in shape and size among individuals.
These omnivores have a diverse diet, consuming fruits, berries, nuts, insects, small mammals, and occasionally scavenging carrion. Their opportunistic feeding habits contribute to their adaptability to different environments.
Habitat and Range:
Asian black bears are found in a wide range of habitats, from dense forests to high-altitude mountainous regions. They roam across various countries in Asia, including China, Japan, Russia, and the Indian subcontinent.
Average Age and Size:
In the wild, Asian black bears typically live to be around 25 years old. Adult males weigh between 220 to 440 pounds (100 to 200 kilograms), while females are generally smaller, weighing between 110 to 275 pounds (50 to 125 kilograms). The bears are known for their climbing abilities, often ascending trees to forage for food or escape threats.
Known for their adaptability and diverse habitats, Asian black bears play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of the regions they inhabit. However, like many bear species, they face conservation challenges, including habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade. Efforts to protect these bears and their habitats are essential for ensuring their survival in the wild.
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