22 moon bears tortured on a South Korean breeding farm are now enjoying life in a sanctuary!

22 Asiatic black bears had spent their entire lives locked in small metal cages on a South Korean animal farm. In this horrible place, not only were they prisoners, but their gallbladders and bile were harvested and marketed as remedies for sore throats, cancer and, more recently, as a treatment for coronaviruses.

“They lived in the most horrible conditions you can imagine,” says Pat Craigfounder and executive director of The Wild Animal Sanctuary in southeastern Colorado.

In this video, you can see one of the 22 moon bears from the Wild Animal Refuge Sanctuary who was recently rescued from South Korea. She is walking freely for the first time in her life!

“This female Moon Bear (Asian Black Bear) was kept in a 5′ x 8′ steel rebar cage all her life while living on a Bile Bear farm in South Korea. Having never walked on real ground or grass before, she lifts her feet high with each step and spreads her feet apart in an attempt to find the right way to walk when the steel bars are no longer under her feet. The new scents of real dirt, plants and other scents are clearly overwhelming as she begins to navigate her new home,” Wild Animal Sanctuary said in an Instagram post.

In mid-March, Craig’s nonprofit rescued the bears, nicknamed “moon bears” for the crescent-shaped yellow markings on their chests. Craig transported them to Colorado, where they can now live happily the rest of their lives and roam as they please.

“Seeing them finally free and playing in the grass for the first time was really gratifying,” said Craig. “You can tell the bears are happy now,” he added. “They are able to explore 243 forests [fenced-in] acres, play in the water and act like normal bears.

Asiatic black bears are listed by the IUCN Red List as an endangered species in its natural environment, non-profit organizations and sanctuaries play a vital role in continuing its longevity.

This Asiatic Black Bear “Moon Bear” pictured above was rescued from a bile farm in South Korea and is now enjoying his freedom at The wild animal sanctuary.

Dillan, the Asiatic black bear enjoys a good dip in his pool this morning. “He loves to swim while blowing bubbles with his nose underwater,” said Wild Animal Sanctuary in an Instagram post.

Now that the sanctuary’s new residents are rolling in the dirt and exploring the scented woods for the first time, Craig said he hopes to save more moon bears soon.

“They are beautiful animals, and they deserve to be free and to enjoy life”, said Craig. “I would love to help even more of them experience that feeling of wild grass under their feet for the first time.”

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