Two 13-year-old bears used for their bile freed from cage for first time

Two 13-year-old female bears used for their bile and who had been kept captive all their lives in dark steel barred cages in the Thai Nguyen province of Vietnam have been freed for the first time in their lives. Meet Hoa Tra and Hoa Lan; two lucky bear survivors, who for the first time felt grass under their paws and looked up into the sky to see the sun.

According to, the Asiatic bears were purchased in 2005 as cubs and were repeatedly poked and jabbed with syringes to extract their bile – part of the digestive system produced in the liver. The inhumane and painful procedure includes using a long needle injected into the bear’s abdomen. Often the procedure is carried out in substandard and unhygienic conditions, and the bears are administered huge amounts of antibiotics to keep them alive after infections commonly occur. Meanwhile the animals suffer from painful abscesses and sepsis – not to  mention their psychological problems from being locked up and regularly put through painful procedures.

Reports of bears fitted with “metal jackets” to keep their wounds open, catheters inserted with little or no anesthesia using during the “milking” procedures, emphasize the inhumanity and outright cruelty for these animals. Bear bile is sold on the black market, including Australia and is used to treat everything from sexual inadequacies, cancer to hemorrhoids. There is no scientific proof to prove any effectiveness.  Bear bile contains high levels of ursodeoxycholic acid; in modern times both herbal and synthetic alternatives provide the same medicinal properties.

Fortunately Four Paws Australia, an animal advocacy group was able to convince the owner to release the bears, even though he has denied using them to extract their bile that has since become illegal in the country in 2005. At least 900 bears remain caged in private bile farms across the country. In China, the illicit industry continues to flourish.

Rescuers have been placed in a tenuous position as they don’t want to discourage bear owners from turning over their bears, and therefore have made it a practice not to criticize. And so it came to be when Hoa Tra and Hoa Lan were sedated, carried from their cages and given a full medical examination. Besides their paws having been covered with thick skin, severe dental problems from chewing on the bars from malnutrition and boredom, these two bears have joined eight other rescued bears at the Ninh Binh sanctuary.

Check out the freedom video for Hoa Tra and Hoa Lan from Four Paws Australia. Here they are playing together for the first time in their lives and actually enjoying each other. Bears are just so forgiving. No warnings needed to view  – just watch and smile.

Read previous coverage of the bile bears here.

Read the latest animal news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook.

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Thug laughed as he purposely mowed down helpless emus in 4-wheeler

A young thug laughed hysterically as he videoed himself purposely mowing down at least ten emus in a small town in South Australia on Thursday. Jacob Macdonald, 20, has been identified as the alleged driver running the flightless birds over with his four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Soon after the video was posted and Macdonald was identified as the culprit, he deleted his social media accounts. The video was posted to Facebook by Fabio Galletti and showed a man wearing a cap and sunglasses clearly enjoying himself as he sped down the dirt road at 75 mph and counted down each bird after he ran them over during the 40 second massacre. Galletti stated he did not take the video, has nothing to do with the people involved, but wanted those involved to be identified and reported to authorities.

“As the emus fell one-by-one MacDonald counted ‘one, two, three’ when each bird was hit. “This is f***ing great. I’ve got that one too … and that one!,” could be heard in the video.

Friends say Macdonald “went off the rails” after his latest breakup with his girlfriend. According to  Daily Mail Australia, Macdonald defended his actions for killing the birds he referred to as a “mob” stating the emu population had been out of control and destroying local crops because they had been scavenging for food. He also contended the birds had been suffering from diseases and needed to be killed.

As social pressure increased and more people helped to identify Macdonald, he admitted he was wrong and tried to tell people he had never made any animal suffer before this. Police have confirmed Macdonald has been interviewed and is expected to be charged with aggravated animal cruelty, tormenting animals, destruction of protected wildlife and a number of vehicle and traffic related offenses including using a cellphone while driving.

The disturbing video can be viewed here. CAUTION: The video is extremely graphic.

The RSPCA South Australia continues to investigate.

Read the latest animal news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

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Property owner kills 3 bear cubs going after beehive for honey

A property owner in Tamworth, New Hampshire shot and killed three bear cubs on Wednesday for going after his beehive for honey.  It’s as if the mother of the bear and her cubs have knowledge of what belongs to whom. Not understanding that, the cubs tragically paid with their lives.

According to the Concord Monitor, the bear cubs had been going after his chickens and beehive for days. New Hampshire state law allows a person to kill wild animals on their property if they are damaging  crops or domestic animals. According to New Hampshire Fish and Game information, however the state will provide property owners with appropriate fencing and other preventive measures to keep the bears from becoming nuisances and putting their lives at risk.

September 1 marked the beginning of bear hunting season in New Hampshire – the department refers to hunting as “bear management.”

“Bears may be hunted over bait, by stalking or with hounds. The statewide bear population has experienced modest growth over the past two decades and is at approximately 6,100 animals. The population is strong throughout the state and abundant hunting opportunities exist in most areas.”

Follow the latest animal news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

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Rescue crates carrying animals to safety from hurricane fell off transport truck

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a transporter carrying animals to the safety of Carolina Waterfowl Rescue from Hurricane Florence, did not strap rescue crates properly causing several of the enclosures to fall off of the truck. The transport was on its way Thursday evening from Wilmington to Charlotte.


According to the Facebook page of the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, the crates went flying and landed on the side of the road without the transporter being aware of what happened. By nightfall, a pelican and three chickens that had fallen out of the truck were recovered. A hawk is still missing as of Friday morning.


“THESE are not our birds,” the rescue organization posted. “This was not our transporter. We are opening our shelter to evacuees and his happened on a volunteer transport from the coast. I just wanted to clarify this was not our fault and we were just here waiting to receive the birds.”

Archilles, the hawk remains missing. Anyone with information is asked to call 704.668.9486 or text 704.684.9247.

Check out the rescue’s Facebook page to see some of the many animals few others volunteered to help. Arrivals include a donkey and her baby, parrots, chickens, hawks and ducks. Volunteers are fostering many in their own homes. To help, donations would be welcome; these are just a few of the rescuers who have stepped forward to help.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

Read the latest animal related news on the National Pet Rescue page.

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Wayward sea lion gets help from fire department back to ocean

A wayward sea lion spent four days hanging out in the woods of Sitka, Alaska before getting help from the local fire department and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It took a team of firefighters, tranquilizer darts and a front end loader to get the dehydrated Steller sea lion back to his home.


According to the Anchorage Daily News, the sea lion had humped his way down the beach road early Friday morning and spent two days hiding in the woods. As many times as scientists tried to encourage the big guy to head back to the sea, just a quarter-mile away, he just wasn’t inclined to take the advice. The Sitka Volunteer Fire Department tried to usher him toward the sea with the gentle pressure of some fire hoses, but as he became stressed and dehydrated from being out of the water too long, volunteers and experts became worried about the sea lion’s health.

It was then decided to give the sea lion a ride back to the harbor and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium gathered up volunteers and a front loader. On Monday, a NOAA veterinarian sedated the animal with a dart, and before long the 1,500 pound visitor gently fell to sleep. From the front loader to a flatbed truck, the big guy was on his way back to the water.

Just for tracking, pink paint and hair dye marked a number of his side so scientists could track him. At the water’s edge, he was given a series of drugs to reverse the sedation and into the water he went.

Be well big guy, and stay out in the water where you belong.

More news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

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Protected red-tailed hawk impaled with arrow

In Hartselle, Alabama, a protected red-tailed hawk has been impaled with an arrow by an unknown heartless culprit. On Sunday, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division reached out to the public asking for help identifying the responsible person.

According to the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Facebook page, a member of the Alabama Hawk Association had been on the scene within an hour after the hawk was sighted, however they were not able to capture the hawk for medical treatment. Falconers have the knowledge and equipment to capture the birds safely.

‘Most sportsmen make good, ethical choices, and don’t like to see when others choose not to,” the organization posted on Facebook. “When we received a report about this bird yesterday afternoon, we immediately reached out to a community of sportsmen for assistance: Alabama falconers.”

Anyone with information with the location of the eagle or the person who may have been responsible for the offense is asked to contact 1-800-272-GAME.

Help bring justice to this hawk and be part of the solution to protect our wildlife.

(Photo of red-tailed hawk via Facebook)

More news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

Yesterday in the newsNear death, skeletal dog found abandoned in alley – more here.

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Nearly 90 elephants killed at Botswana sanctuary for their tusks

In a protected Botswana sanctuary, the bodies of 87 elephants, stripped of their tusks have been killed these past few weeks. According to the conservation group, Elephants Without Borders, five rare white rhinos were poached and killed in the same area.

“People did warn us of an impending poaching problem and we thought we were prepared for it,” stated Mike Chase, a spokesperson for the nonprofit organization.

According to the BBC,  Botswana is home to the largest elephant population in the world, however the population has declined by 30 percent in the last decade because of poaching. Most of the elephants live in legally protected areas. The dead animals were discovered near the Okavango Delta wildlife area – a popular tourist destination for viewing elephants and other endangered wildlife.

Tragically, the increase in poaching has occurred just one month after President Mokgweetsi Masisi took office in Botswana and disarmed the poaching units in May.

“… the government has decided to withdraw military weapons and equipment from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.”

No explanation was ever given in an area where a shoot to kill policy against poachers prevailed. Now it’s become open season for poachers where the world’s largest elephant population still live, according to Dr. Chase.

(Photos via screenshots Elephants Without Borders and BBC News)

Read more animal news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

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Jurassic Park type 7-feet-long lizard terrifies Miami family

A Jurassic Park look-a-like – well sorta –  a seven-feet-long, 150-pound lizard – has terrified a Miami area family this past week.  Actually, the reptile is a monitor lizard and are not known to attack people, but just looking at him is scary enough.

According to the Miami Herald, experts have identified the scary looking critter as an Asian water monitor, a large lizard native to Southeast Asia in second place in size to the Komodo dragon. Homeowner Zachary Lieberman told authorities the lizard had been at his back door scratching to get inside over the weekend. Yikes!

And so, wildlife authorities, trappers and hunting dogs have been called in to capture the baby Godzilla – but with a minimum of success thus far. When Mike Kimmel, owner of Martin County Trapping & Removals and Martin County Wildlife Rescue, heard about the situation, he traveled to Davie to help.

“Originally, they were going to euthanize the animal, so that’s why I got involved,” stated Kimmel, who’s known as Trapper Mike and is typically out capturing large snakes. “I knew I could find a home for him, and I really wanted to preserve his life,” he told the Huffington News.

Lieberman and his wife, Maria, who have two small children aged two and four, can’t even hang out at their backyard pool. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have found a burrow near the area where the lizard could be hiding, but despite using dead rodents and chicken thighs, the lizard isn’t taking the bait. Wildlife officials say the lizard has been making return visits because it smells mammals – notably rodents and raccoons in the area.

More than likely it’s someone’s pet that ran away since the monitor lizards are not native to Florida. They are easy to purchase online, and it’s perfectly legal.

If anyone spots little Godzilla, contact officials at 888.483.4681 or online at The lizards can be dangerous when cornered, so just call authorities. No one wants him dead – just safely out of the family’s yard and in an environment where he can live in peace too.

Check it out:

(Photos and video of the giant lizard Facebook Maria Lieberman)

Read more animal news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

In the news yesterday: Groomer accused of strangling customer’s pets – more here.

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Puppy reunited with mom – watch the heartwarming video here.


Public outcry over ‘Honey’ the dolphin abandoned in Japanese aquarium

In an abandoned aquarium at a marine park in Japan, Honey the dolphin, along with 46 penguins and hundreds of fish and reptiles remain, as a public outcry to save the lonely dolphin has sparked public outcry and protests this week.

According to Japan Today, the Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium closed at the beginning of the year after a steep decline in visitors following the 2011 earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear accident. Honey, the penguins and the other denizens of the aquarium remain there with reports that employees have been regularly feeding the animals. Sadly, Honey has been seen floating in one of the tiny pools and her physical condition may be deteriorating.

Honey, a bottlenose dolphin, captured in 2005 near Taiji, where the annual dolphin hunt has been televised in the documentary The Cove, was one of the lucky ones – at least as far as her life having been spared. Dolphins not used in marine parks are killed for their meat. The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums no longer purchases dolphins from Taiji.

At the last visit to the park, Honey showed signs of stress and weakness.

Nearby a resort hotel has offered to give Honey, the penguins and the other fish and reptiles a new home. Repeated calls to the park have gone unanswered.

“I get emotions of hazard and doubt from t he truth that they’re so silent about this. As a bunch that handles animals, they’re accountability to elucidate what they intend to do with Honey and the opposite animals,” stated Sachiko Azuma, a consultant of the group PEACE. (Put a Finish to Animal Cruelty and Exploitation)

(Photos screenshots via Reuters)

More news and updates on National Pet Rescue here.

In the news yesterday: Man accused of slitting throat of his mom’s dog – read more here.

More news: Bears held captive for decades moving to sanctuary – read more here.

Border collie gets so excited watching herself on TV – watch the adorable video here.

Puppy reunited with mom – watch the heartwarming video here.

Five moon bears held in concrete cells for 21 years find freedom

Inside of rusty cages, five moon bears have been held in captivity near Phung Thoung, for more than 21 years. All these animals have ever known are their captors jabbing them with needles and extracting their bodily fluids. For more than two decades, the bears have continued to chew on the bars of their cages and rocked themselves back and forth in boredom, fear and frustration.

Every other day, a needle is inserted into their gall bladders and their bile is extracted and sold as a cure for ailments for an eastern Asian custom that claims that bile can cure everything from impotence to headaches.

Video obtained by the field team from Animals Asia shows their repetitive motion.

The Vietnam government has promised to close down all bile farms by 2022 and to stop prescribing the products by 2020. South Korea has also taken a stance and has a program sterilizing captive bears to stop the inhumane process. China, however has at least 10,000 bears on 70 farms, and it is all legal. And it is the Asian black bears, popularly known as moon bears because of the white markings on their chests in the shape of the crescent moon, who are the victims of this heinous practice.

On Sunday, Animals Asia were able to rescue five moon bears who have never known freedom, never felt the grass beneath their feet nor a time when they were not stuck with needles. Every experience they have ever had has been one of pure misery.

“Animals Asia’s rescue team has arrived at a bear bile farm in Vietnam to rescue five precious moon bears and close the farm for good. These poor bears have suffered at least 13 years of extreme confinement, and had their bodily fluids extracted with needles for use in traditional medicine,” the organization posted on their social media page.

Vets will first triage which bears are in need of urgent care and take it from there. Some bears may need to be anaesthetised and given immediate health care. All will be freed from their cages and be brought 1,700km to sanctuary.”


And on Sunday afternoon, rescuers cut open their cages and gave the bears their first taste of kindness. They have been named Star, Kim, Mai, Mekong and LeBon. For these bears, there is hope.

To help, click here.

Read more animal news and find the latest updates at the National Pet Rescue.

In the news yesterday: Young dog described as “playgroup rock star” on the list to be put down. Read the story here.

Positive news: Chubby cat who stole the heart of the nation has found a new home – read more here!

Get your puppy fix – sweet Dane falls asleep while eating strawberries. Watch it here!

Puppy reunited with mom – watch the heartwarming video here.