Chinh the bear in a crate during rescue.

20-Year-Old Bear Gets Rescued from Vietnam Bear Bile Farm



Chinh, a 20-year-old Asiatic black bear, was rescued from a bear bile farm in Vietnam.

After living alone on a bear bile farm in Vietnam for more than 20 years, Chinh, an Asiatic black bear, has been rescued and released!

Chinh was rescued by FOUR PAWS, supported by World Animal Protection and the Vietnam Forest Protection Department (FPD). He is now living his new life at a FOUR PAWS Sanctuary in Ninh Binh, where he will enjoy life without being cruelly exploited and will be among other rescued bears.

Chinh in a crate during transport with the rescue team.

World Animal Protection and FPD have been working together to monitor bear bile farms across Vietnam. They confiscate bears found to be without a microchip and/or registration papers, ensuring no new bears from the wild or other sources enter captivity for the bile industry. This program also works to persuade bear bile farmers to voluntarily surrender the animals to sanctuaries, with Chinh being the fifteenth bear rescued due to this program since 2019.

Lindsay Oliver, Executive Director at World Animal Protection, US states: 

“We at World Animal Protection are thrilled that Chinh will be free after enduring physical and psychological suffering from a very young age. For 20 years, Chinh could not feel the sun, breathe fresh air, or explore in their natural habitat. The Vietnamese government needs to take legal action to finally end the use of bears for their bile. World Animal Protection continues to work with our partners to ensure more bears like Chinh are released to sanctuaries.”

Bear bile has been illegal in Vietnam since 2005, but a legal loophole allowed bear owners to keep their bears as “pets,” with approximately 200 bears in the country still suffering for traditional Asian medicine in the bear bile industry.

For Chinh to be rescued, a dedicated veterinary team from FOUR PAWS and local authorities worked together to review Chinh’s health and conditions to best transport Chinh without undue stress. 

Lesley Halter-Gölkel, a veterinarian at FOUR PAWS, said:

“Upon rescue, Chinh was calm. He has already taken some food from us including bananas and morning glory. He has acute tartar and fractured upper canines. His claws are very long, and he has severe hyperkeratosis on his footpads which is caused by standing on metal bars over the last years.” 

Thanks to FOUR PAWS, Chinh will live in a semi-wild location, where he can roam and play freely in 5.5 hectares of land with other bears. Sanctuaries like the ones FOUR PAWS operates allow wild animals previously exploited for profit to live as naturally as possible while still receiving the proper care they need and deserve.

Thanks to collaborative efforts between World Animal Protection, the Vietnam Forest Protection Department (FPD), and FOUR PAWS, there are now more bears in sanctuaries run by nonprofit organizations and government rescue centers than on farms in Vietnam. Collective efforts have resulted in a 95 percent reduction in the number of bile bears in Vietnam, from 4,300 bears recorded in 2005 to 200 bears on farms today.

For almost 20 years, World Animal Protection, alongside other NGOs, has worked with the Vietnamese government to end the cruel practice of bear bile farming and protect the small population of bears remaining in the wild. Yet many bears still endure agonizing captivity and need urgent aid. Your donation today can help eradicate the bear bile industry and rescue suffering animals globally. Please give now to help other bears like Chinh!

More about