bear bile

Chiang Mai Zoo’s star pandas, Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang were given gift-wrapped New Year presents of bamboo, which they opened in front of tourists. However, instead of eating their favourite food, the giant pandas sent the bamboo to Ikea with a request to turn it into two rocking chairs and a foot stool!

On a much more serious note, I’ve never understood why giant pandas are so revered in China, while the Asiatic black bear and brown bears are so mistreated? Battery bears are bears kept in captivity in order to harvest their bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. Sold as Traditional Chinese Medicine, a small bottle of bear bile fetches thousands of dollars, yet the product has absolutely no proven health benefits! So while the panda wants for nothing, except perhaps freedom from its gilded cage, the black and brown bears are kept in appalling conditions, living as they do with permanent tubes into their gall bladders via the abdomen. Minus their claws and teeth, which have been extracted, and probably without anesthesia, they remain in pain all their short lives, and malnourished. Infection common, there is a high mortality rate, with an average lifespan of only 5-years. Should a bear reach the age of 10, it is killed due to the fact that bile production by that age drops off. Of course, if you’re going to blame the pig ignorant Chinese bear bile farmers, then you may as well lay blame at the feet of the North Koreans, the South Koreans, those in Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Never mind man’s inhumanity to Man, what about Man’s inhumanity to animals? And people say there’s a God? I hated writing this post!!


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