A rescued Asian black bear, named Tuffy, was enjoying his time on the water after he arrived at his new home at the Tam Dao Rescue Center.
This currently happy bear was rescued last September along with six other bears from a bear “bile farm” located in Vietnam.
According to ABC 7 News, when he was discovered, an animal rescue organization, Tuffy was suffering from numerous gallstones, fractured teeth, and cracked paws.
According to The Hearty Soul, Tuffy was unable to survive in the wild on his own after years of living in a cage and forced extraction of bile from his gallbladder.
The bear was brought to Animals Asia’s Tam Dao Rescue Center in Vietnam where he was seen having fun and enjoying freedom.
Animals Asia is a Hong Kong-based charity group that seeks to end cruelty to wild and endangered species across the continent.
"Coming from years of little or no water, for Tuffy this must feel like a true oasis after being parched and in pain for so long," Animals Asia's bear manager Louise Ellis said.
Bile farming is a common and legal practice in some Asian countries and consists in the daily extraction of bile from live, caged bears using catheters or holes in their bodies.
The bears usually spend their lives in a cage, with multiple “bile tapping” sessions per day, which involves forcing a metal tube through the wound and scar tissue to reach the bile stored in the bear’s gallbladders.
According to FOX 4KC, animals rights activists estimate about 12,000 bears are currently held in bile farms across China, Vietnam, South Korea, Laos, and Myanmar.
Fortunately, Tuffy is currently recovering at the group's award-winning bear sanctuary, where he's kept safe and outdoors as he enjoys freedom for the first time.