The times, they are a-changin’

There’s no other way of putting it: this image of a real bear soaked and preserved in alcohol is just painfully sad. The poor creature was discovered by a member of the public at a restaurant in Quang Binh province last week. 

Apr20 BearQuangBinh



The owner of the bear explained that this was done to make ‘medicine’ for her father-in-law 17 years ago. 17 years is a long time for wildlife in Vietnam; in 1998, Vietnam had only been a member of CITES for four years. Now, bear farming has been ended in Halong and ENV are pushing hard for the complete eradication of bear farming across the nation. Tradition does not change overnight, but this disturbing relic serves to remind us how far we’ve come.
The photograph was captured after the environmental police had confiscated the 7.8 kilo bear. Its remains will be destroyed in line with protocol so that no further profit can be made from its trade.