Twilight is one of five Asiatic black bears rescued from a bear bile farm in Vietnam on Feb 22, 2023. (Photo: Animals Asia)

BANGKOK: Five Asiatic black bears were locked up in rusty metal cages in Phung Thuong, 30km west of Hanoi, when rescuers found them in a farm. 

The animals appeared terrified of humans. Some of them were pacing back and forth – an abnormal behaviour bears display when they are under stress.

“The five bears were separated in five cages. They were all in bad condition,” said Thuy Hoang, a rescuer from non-profit animal welfare foundation Animals Asia, who joined the operation. 

“They didn’t have a floor underneath their paws. Below their cages was a gap, and the bears would urinate and defecate in the cages.” 

The bears - locked up and held in a holding area with limited sunlight - are believed to have spent 20 y...