Sun Bears play fighting at Tat Kuang Si rescue centre near Luang Prabang in Lao PDR.
Most of the bears arrive at the rescue centre as very young cubs having been confiscated by the Lao Government from illegal poaching and trading. It is likely that they would otherwise have been destined for a life of torture in a "bile farm" outside of Laos.
I found it so awesome an Australian woman founded this fantastic rescue centre in 1993, whilst watching a current affairs TV program in Perth. Her name is Mary Hutton, who saw a segment that would change her life and hundreds of others. The segment contained horrifying footage of Asiatic Black bears held in coffin sized cages unable to move or turn with dirty catheters inserted directly into their gall bladder. Mary learned that thousands of bears were being held in these horrifying conditions throughout Asia, regularly milked for their bile to feed the demand for bear bile to be used in traditional medicine. Gall bladders and bile have been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries, however the commercial farming of bears began recently in Korea during the 1980’s so that the bears could be milked for their bile repeatedly throughout their lives.
Great capture. I saw a documentary long time ago about these poor animals and how they are caged in tiny cramped conditions to obtain their bile. Very, very sad. Amazing in todays age people still believe in "magic" potions.