Vet travels to Asia to treat moon bears

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A veterinary cardiologist from Kirkby Lonsdale travelled to Asia to assist with the treatment of bears rescued from the bear bile industry.

Hannah Stephenson of Tunstall and Chris Linney both travelled from Merseyside to AnimalsAsia’s China Bear Rescue Centre near Chengdu, to work with sanctuary vetscharged with treating the bears that the organisation rescued from the bear bile industry.

They both spent ten days on site performing echocardiograms, ECGs and overall cardiac evaluations.

During their visit, the team was able to examine 29 moon bears and take an in-depth look at the heart problems they face.

Hannah said: “The vets at the sanctuary knew that some of their bears were dying of heart disease and wanted us to help them see how many bears were affected by the disease, and what the causes might be.

“My experience at Animals Asia sanctuary is one the best of my career. When you see how peaceful and happy these bears are in their sanctuary, after the terrible ordeals they have been through, you can see how important the work of Animals Asia is.

“I cannot believe that anyone could believe that keeping these bears in such awful conditions, and causing them daily pain and distress could be legal.

“There were a number of times at the sanctuary that I was moved to tears by the stories of the bears, and particularly the care and devotion that all of the bear workers showed for these magnificent animals.”

The bears at Animals Asia’s sanctuary had previously spent up to 30 years constrained in tiny cages while suffering daily bile extractions.

Chris and Hannah were also able to offer advice to the team on appropriate management and medication for cardiac cases. The collaboration will continue.