A bear who was rescued from a bile farm was caught on camera jumping for joy while taking a dip in a pool in Vietnam for the first time.
Tuffy was freed from captivity after spending many years in a tiny cage, according to Animals Asia, a Hong Kong-based charity group that seeks to end cruelty to wild and endangered species across the continent.
Bear bile has long been used in Asia to treat various health problems, despite skepticism over its effectiveness and outrage over the bile extraction process, which animal rights groups say is excruciatingly painful for bears.
Bile harvesters collect liquid from their gallbladders. The farming typically involves the daily extraction of bile from live, caged bears via catheters or holes in their bodies.
Tuffy's gallbladder was so severely damaged that it had to be removed and his paws were badly cracked. He also had to have three fractured teeth removed.
The bear is now recovering at the group's award-winning bear sanctuary in Vietnam, where he's kept safe and outdoors.
"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 Bear Manager Louise Ellis said on the charity group's website.
During his first days outside, Animals Asia said that Tuffy chose to sleep under the stars instead of returning to his den at night.
For more information on how to end bile farming, visit www.animalsasia.org.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Bear jumps for joy after being rescued from bile farm
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