Rescued From Poachers, Adorable Bear Cub Now Thrives in Sanctuary

posted: 11/04/15
by: Danny Clemens

Sun bear cub Murphy saw more trauma in his first six weeks than many people see in an entire lifetime.

Before he was rescued by the Forest Protection Department in Vietnam, Murphy's mother was killed by a hunter that was attempting to sell the young bear into the bile trade.

Along with Asiatic black bears and brown bears, sun bears in southeastern Asia are commonly farmed for their bile, which is used in traditional medicine to treat hemorrhoids, epilepsy and other ailments. Throughout the region, the booming bile farming industry reportedly keeps more than 10,000 bears in captivity.

Bile can fetch $24,000 per kilogram, making the substance half as valuable as gold.

Thankfully for Murphy, authorities were able to rescue him before he was committed to a life of captivity. The cub eventually ended up in the custody of Animals Asia, a conservation organization that operates bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam.

The youngest bear to ever be under the organization's care, Murphy has spent the last several months working with bear trainers and, despite his past trauma, now looks happier than ever:

"It's been a privilege to watch Murphy grow up over these last few months. When he came to us, we couldn't believe he'd be able to get over the trauma of being taken from his mother at such an early age," Animals Asia Bear Manager Kelly Donithan writes in a blog post. "It's a testament to this amazing sun bear that he's growing up to be such a happy boy - and a sad reminder of what his life might have been like if there was no bear trade."

We need to take a stand against animal trafficking before it's too late.
Click here to find out how you can #StartWith1Thing and make a difference.

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