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Last week Vietnamese news on Dantri.com.vn reported the heart-rending case of a five-year-old boy who lost both his arms after being badly bitten by a bear at his uncle’s farm.
When the local authorities arrived at the farm following the incident, the bear had already disappeared. It is understood that the boy’s uncle claimed to have killed the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in anger, before selling its remains to a stranger for over 1,000 USD.
Asiatic black bears are protected under Vietnamese law (Decree 32/2006/ND-CP, group IB) and their exploitation for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, under Vietnamese law, bears remaining in captivity must be microchipped and registered with the local authorities. In this case, the bear farmer – who had kept the bear for ten years – had failed to comply with both requirements, in clear violation of the law.
This story is a sad and painful lesson to those who keep wild animals in captivity – they risk not only fines, but also severe injury to themselves, their family and their friends.
Photo courtesy of Dantri.com.vn