The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself.
The bears in question were captives in a “bile farm”. Bears in such farm are typically kept in “crush cages” where they are unable to move at all. A permanent opening is made in the bear’s abdomen into the gall bladder so that the bile that is secreted can be milked and sold to apothecaries. (Bear bile is used in Chinese traditional medicine.)
“As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis.
“The witness… claimed that a mother bear broke out its cage when it heard its cub howl in fear before a worker punctured its stomach to milk the bile.