The thought of any animal in captivity is a terrible one. And if those animals are also being tortured, the need to free them is even more dire.
One brown bear kept for years in a “torture vest” at a Chinese bile farm faced a bleak existence. Thankfully, rescuers came to her aid, but not before they witnessed living conditions that were a shocking reminder of how terrible Asia’s bile industry is for animals.
For years, a brown bear named Caesar suffered a miserable existence on a bile farm in China. Trapped in a vest meant to constantly extract fluid from her gallbladder, this bear was in pain every moment of her life.
Bile is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, and the vest strapped to the bear consisted of a metal cage worn around her abdomen, a crude latex catheter to siphon the bile out of her body, and a box to collect the bile.
Caesar’s story isn’t a common tale; most bile farm bears don’t escape the torture they find there. If she hadn’t been rescued, Caesar would have had to spend the remainder of her days with that torturous device strapped to her chest.
Caesar’s story is a happy one, but it’s also a staunch reminder of how many other animals are suffering because of Asia’s bile industry. There are an estimated 10,000 bears living in captivity in China alone.
The type of vest that Caesar was forced to wear while she was being held captive has since been outlawed, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t animals still wearing them. It’s likely that the vests are still being used for their original purpose.