Free At Last! Tuffy The Bear Rejoices After Being Rescued From Bile Farm


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Tuffy in captivity ( Photo Credit: Animals

Animal videos are always heartwarming. However, the one that captured Tuffy, a black bear splashing in a pool, is even more so. That's because it shows the animal's unbridled joy after being rescued from a bear bile farm, where he was locked in a tiny cage and tortured for years. In fact, Tuffy was so thrilled with his newly found freedom that he did not return to his den that evening — Instead, the bear spent the night sleeping under the stars.

The farms that are scattered across China and Vietnam entrap bears like Tuffy to extract bile from their gall bladders. The sticky fluid that is used by our bodies to digest fatty foods is an essential ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicines, earning the animal abusers millions of dollars, each year.

Tuffy was one of six bears rescued by animal activists from the Vietnam chapter of the non-profit group Animals Asia in September 2015. The vet team has since been trying to rehabilitate the bear from the trauma and damage done by years of bile extraction. Tuffy's gall bladder was so impaired that it had to be removed. The bear also suffered from three fractured teeth and dry, cracked paws.

Tuffy in captivity ( Photo Credit: Animals

According to Animals Asia Bear Manager Louise Ellis, “The cracked paws are common to bile farm bears as they only walk on bars, not grass. Dehydration is likely to have contributed to this too. So for his carers to see him take to the pool so quickly after he first became ready to face the outdoors was an amazing moment. Coming from years of little or no water, for Tuffy, this must feel like a true oasis after being parched and in pain for so long. It must have felt like such a relief to have the freedom to splash around in the water after only being able to stand on the hard metal bars of the bile farm cage.”

While Tuffy and the 600 other bears that live at the Animals Asia sanctuaries in Vietnam and China are safe and healthy, there are thousands more that still need to be rescued. The nonprofit estimates that there are about 1,200 bears in Vietnam and as many as 10,000 bears in China, still being held captive at these bile farms.


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  • Unicorn girlMonday, March 25, 2019 at 11:30 am
    So sweet, makes me want to cry. 🐻
    • doogie
      doogieSunday, March 24, 2019 at 1:19 pm
      looks like yummy food
      • Harry Potter Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 4:07 pm
        To cute ❤️❤️❤️❤️💓
        • Red girlMonday, March 18, 2019 at 2:35 pm
          Awww so cute💜 💙 💚 💛 💓
          • crazinWednesday, February 27, 2019 at 2:55 pm
            Tufy was so cute and just because there is no medicane in china doesnt mean they had to do what they did.i am so MAD
            • Megan Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 6:11 am
              They were being so mean to Tuffy I'm so glad that the sanctuary got him. Those people should be arested for doing that to poor Tuffy!
              • some Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 10:08 am
                that bear is cute
                • goldenlab
                  goldenlabFriday, February 1, 2019 at 6:55 am
                  no medicine in china is worth what they did to that bear. think about how you would feel people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!! It makes me SO MAD!!!!!!
                  • gia2010
                    gia2010Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm
                    They were being so mean to Tuffy. I'm so happy that the sanctuary got him and now he is living a very happy life! Who in the right mind would be mean to animals. When he was locked up in that cage he looked like he was crying. It was so sad.
                    • ScoutThursday, January 10, 2019 at 2:37 pm
                      That is so sad about his last home. I can't believe anyone would do this to animals.