Chinh in his cage before rescue

Chinh rescued after 20 years of captive cruelty


A bear forced to live alone in a small cage for the last 20 years has finally been released to safety.

Chinh’s story 

Chinh was just a small bear cub when he arrived on the farm to be used for bear bile farming. For the last 20 years, he suffered a harrowing existence in captivity, enduring both physical and psychological trauma.  

Chinh in his tiny cage before rescue. | Photo: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections 

Trapped in a tiny cage, deprived of the freedom to roam and behave naturally, he endured the painful process of bile extraction, over and over again. Chinh also spent many years living in complete isolation as fourteen other bears had previously been surrendered from this same farm between 2019 and 2022, leaving Chinh as the fifteenth and final bear.  

Chinh was the final bear left on this bear bile farm. | Photo: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections 

Chinh’s rescue  

This rescue is part of a World Animal Protection and FPD program that monitors bear bile farms across Vietnam. Bears without a microchip and/or registration papers are deemed illegal and confiscated. The program also works to persuade bear owners to surrender these majestic animals to sanctuaries voluntarily. 

The monitoring program has been a catalyst for many rescues, including Chinh’s. His rescue involved a dedicated veterinary team from FOUR PAWS and local authorities who collaborated in this complex mission. After a successful rescue, Chinh is now at the FOUR PAWS bear sanctuary receiving specialized care.  

Chinh being transported to the FOUR PAWS bear sanctuary. | Photo: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections 

While FOUR PAWS’s veterinarian noted that Chinh has many health issues from his years of confinement and bile extraction, his health will be closely monitored at his new home, and he will receive any veterinary care needed to recover and thrive.  

Chinh’s new life at FOUR PAWS sanctuary 

Chinh’s new life will be far removed from his tiny 1.5m x 1.5m steel cage. The FOUR PAWS sanctuary is a semi-wild location, allowing resident bears a wide-open space of 5.5 hectares (~13.6 acres) to roam and play freely with enrichments designed to stimulate their natural behaviours. 

Cam and Mo, two rescued bears playing at FOUR PAWS International Sanctuary. (Photo: FOUR PAWS Vietnam) 

Loopholes allow bear bile farming to continue 

In Vietnam, bear bile farming has been illegal since 2005. However, a legal loophole allows farmers to keep their bears as 'pets', providing a cover for illegal bile extraction. This has resulted in some 200 bears still suffering in captivity. 

The Vietnamese government must close all remaining legal loopholes to end the suffering of bile bears for good.  

The exploitation of captive bears for their bile is one of the worst examples of animal cruelty in the world today. Each and every bear we manage to free from small, barren cages is a massive win.

- Maya Pastakia, International Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection 

The rescue of Chinh marks the closure of this bear bile farm. We are relieved that there is now one less bear bile farm, and we will continue in our fight to end bear bile farming. 

Thanks to your support, we are making change for bears. 

Thanks to such collaborative efforts, there are now more bears in sanctuaries run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government rescue centres than on farms in Vietnam.  

For almost 20 years, World Animal Protection, alongside other NGOs have worked with the Vietnamese government to end the cruel practice of bear bile farming and protect the small population of wild bears. Our collective efforts have resulted in a 95% reduction in the number of bile bears in Vietnam, from 4,300 bears in 2005 to 200 today. 

With your continued support, we can ensure every single bear is given a second chance at a better life.  

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Banner photo: World Animal Protection / One Touch Connections 

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