07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

GIVING BACK - Susan Horsnell

Gratitude - Being Thankful, Showing Appreciation for and returning Kindness.

This is the Oxford Dictionary Definition for the word - Gratitude.

My husband and I have had an incredibly fortunate life to this point. We have good health, good fortune and we are financially secure. We are retired and have not yet turned 60 and we travel a great deal. As a thank you for all we have, and to show we are grateful for every blessing bestowed upon us, we chose to support an animal which suffers so terribly at the hands of humans.

Our Sponsored Bear - Wilfred (Willie)

In general, people are more than willing to help their fellow humans but not so willing to help our animal friends. This is the reason we chose to sponsor a Moon Bear in China through a fabulous organization called Animals Asia.


More than 10,000 bears – mainly moon bears, but also sun bears and brown bears – are kept on bile farms in China, and just under 2,000 in Vietnam. The bears are milked regularly for their bile, which is used in traditional medicine.

Bile is extracted using various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause massive infection in the bears. This cruel practice continues despite the availability of a large number of effective and affordable herbal and synthetic alternatives.

Most farmed bears are kept in tiny cages. In China, the cages are sometimes so small that the bears are unable to turn around or stand on all fours. Some bears are put into cages as cubs and never released. Bears may be kept caged like this for up to 30 years. Most farmed bears are starved, dehydrated and suffer from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them.


Animals Asia  operate bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam where bears are rehabilitated and cared for and where their bear teams gather vital evidence of the effects of bile extraction.

Their world-class bear rescue centres in Chengdu, China and Tam Dao, Vietnam provide the bears with comfortable dens and semi-natural enclosures where they are able to recover in safety and spend the remaining years of their lives in the company of other bears. To date, 400 farmed bears have been received into their care.

During their rehabilitation at the rescue centres, the bears’ behaviour and well-being are closely monitored by the bear teams through regular health checks and daily observations. This not only ensures that the bears receive the best care possible, but also enables staff to gather vital scientific evidence on the physical and psychological effects of bile extraction.

Reports and papers published by the teams have helped to raise the profile of the moon bear within the scientific community and to increase public awareness of the terrible cruelty involved in the bear bile farming industry.

The sanctuaries also provide direct employment for over 250 Chinese and Vietnamese people in areas such as bear care, horticulture, food preparation and security. Several hundred local people are employed indirectly through services and construction. There is also an active and ongoing education program in these countries. There has been positive support from governments in China and Vietnam to finally rid the practice of bear bile farming.


For further information go to the Animals Asia website at https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/our-work/end-bear-bile-farming/


Wilfred is quite tall with a relatively big body. Sadly, he is blind in both eyes but is very gentle-tempered. He has smooth, shiny fur and likes eating fruit best. His favourite fruit is watermelon, and when we first rescued him, that was the only thing he would eat and so he was nicknamed "Watermelon". Now outside in the enclosures, Wilfred has a new lease on life, and is amazingly active despite his blindness, and loves to climb anything and everything!

I am enormously grateful for all I have and to be able to help this gorgeous animal puts a huge smile in my heart.

Until next month, remember - "What Goes Around, Comes Around."
It takes the same amount of effort to be kind as it does to be mean.
God Bless and Stay Safe

Western Historical Romance Author

Website:          http://horsnells.wix.com/susan--1

Blog:              http://susanhorsnell.com

Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/westernlovin


Judith Ashley said...

Sue, I had no idea there was even a bear bile business! My eyes are being opened to the devastation our animal friends are suffering around the world. Thank You for bring the plight of these animals to my attention.

BTW: Is the difference between a sun bear and a moon bear the color of the "bib fur" under their chin?

Diana McCollum said...

So sad! I didn't know about the bear bile business, never heard of it. In Calif. there was a problem with Asians poaching the black bears. They used the claws and certain internal organ, (not bile) for their herbal medicine. This went on for years but I haven't heard of any poaching recently. Great cause you are supporting.

Nadine Mutas said...

Thank you, Susan, for supporting this cause and raising awareness. It's truly horrifying to think how animals are abused in so many corners of this world, but it's also heartening to know that there are people willing to end this cruelty. Makes me hope for humanity.

Sarah Raplee said...

This is new information for me, too - although I knew bear bile was valued in Chinese folk medicine. I didn't know about these horrible bear farms. Thank you for raising my awareness, Sue! What a great cause!

Cheryl Wright said...

Sue, you are such a kind and thoughtful person. I'm lucky to know you personally, and so know this first hand.

It is such a wonderful thing you are doing for Wilfred. Bile farming is a horrific thing, and I can't begin to imagine what those poor bears go through.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sue,
Great post, written with sincerity because I know that saving these bears is close to your heart.



Susan Horsnell said...

Thank you so very much for your comments. I am a bit remiss about getting back sooner and I do apologize.
Sun Bears have identical markings but are only half the size of moon bears. Their claws are longer, fur shorter and they don't hibernate.
This is a cause extremely close to my heart and I am grateful I have been able to bring their plight to your attention.
Humans are supposed to be kind and the superior race but sometimes I wonder. In roads are being made into this horrific industry and the improvements over the past 10 years have been such that all involved have hope of stamping this barbaric practice out within their lifetime.
Margaret and Cheryl, you both know how passionate I am about animals and knowing I have saved at least one means I will leave this earth happy. Love you girls xx