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Last month, our bear team was out and about in Phuc Tho district, Hanoi, with a series of awareness-raising activities for local residents about bear protection. Over 3,000 students from Ngoc Tao and Phuc Tho high schools enthusiastically took part and answered our surveys. The photo below was shown to students to encourage them to discuss their ideas about the bear bile industry in Phuc Tho.
The results were promising. A 17 year old student shared her thoughts on the bear bile industry with ENV: “The photo shows the brutal treatment of the bears by humans. They did cruel things and hurt the bear by using electric shocks and extracting bile. People are greedy for short-term gain, without any consideration of the impact their actions have on nature and the children of the future. Don’t they feel pity for the bears? Watching the bear lying on the ground in desperation broke my heart. Looking deep into the bear’s eyes, tears seem to burst out in a crying for help. It begged people not to kill them, and give them a peaceful life in the jungle with fresh air and its family.”
This opinion was widely shared, as 95% of the students we spoke to agree that the bear bile extraction industry should be stopped immediately. This was an extremely positive response; if all Vietnamese young people share these views, the future of the bears in Vietnam looks a lot more optimistic.