Young sun bear rescued from caged life in northern Vietnam

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Animals Asia experts check a bear freed from a cage in Nam Dinh Province after giving her an anesthetic August 18. Photo: Hai Ninh/VnExpress Animals Asia experts check a bear freed from a cage in Nam Dinh Province after giving her an anesthetic August 18. Photo: Hai Ninh/VnExpress

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A man in northern Vietnam has voluntarily handed over a bear his family had caged for seven years to an animal rights organization, which will take it to a nearby sanctuary.
An Animals Asia rescue team took possession of the animal at a house in Nam Dinh Province Thursday and will take her to its bear rescue center in Vinh Phuc Province 200 kilometers away.
The bear had been bought as a pet as a cub, but after the buyer passed away his son decided to free her.
“This seven-year-old sun bear has only ever known life behind bars,” Animals Asia said in a statement. It suggested that the bear has not suffered bile extraction, which is the plight of many caged bears in Vietnam as well as elsewhere in Asia.
 This sun bear was handed over to Animals Asia August 18 by the son of a man in Nam Dinh Province who had bought it as a cub eight years ago. Photo courtesy of Animals Asia
Tuan Bendixsen, Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director, said: “This is still a young bear and one that can enjoy a full life in the future. However, there is always a physical price to pay for these bears when they have suffered a lack of space, poor diet and inexpert care.”
A veterinary team will check the bear, which has been named Annemarie after the group’s former bear and vet team director Annemarie Weegenaar.
Annemarie is the third bear Animals Asia has rescued in Vietnam this year and the 164th overall.
Many people handed over their bears voluntarily after the government imposed a ban on extracting bear bile.
Yet there are still around 1,200 bears caged in Vietnam for bile for use in traditional medicine, and more than 10,000 in China.

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