For more than 20 years, we have been calling attention to the despicable trade in bear parts. From coast to coast across the U.S., American black bears are killed, their paws cut off, and their abdomens brutally sliced open to extract the gallbladders inside.
More than 10,000 bears are believed to be languishing on Chinese bear bile farms. The simple solution of just opening the gates is not an option - the scale of the problem is way beyond that simplistic approach.
More than 10,000 bears -- mainly moon bears, but also brown bears -- are kept on bile farms in China, and around 2,400 moon bears (and some sun bears) in Vietnam. The bears are milked regularly for their bile, which is used in traditional medicine.
Most bears on bile farms are kept in tiny cages. Of the six rescued last month, Peter was trapped in the smallest cage -- measuring just 3 feet long and one foot wide. Some bears on farms are put into cages as cubs and never released.