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Former NBA superstar Yao Ming is lending his voice to the chorus of animal activists, calling for an end to bear bile farming here in China. Yao, visiting a moon bear sanctuary on Monday, as he looks to raise awareness about the disturbing practice.
The former NBA All-Star, showing his softer side, as he clipped a bear's claws while touring a veterinary clinic at Animals Asia's moon bear sanctuary near Chengdu City, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province.
The former Houston Rockets center also took the injured bear's paw into his hands, showing it some love.
Animals Asia says the bear had been farmed using a "free drip" extraction method, in which farmers drill a permanent hole into the bear's abdomen and gall bladder to allow bile to be tapped. The bile taken from a bear's gall bladder is considered valuable in Chinese medicine as a cure for liver and eye ailments.
|Former NBA superstar Yao Ming is lending his voice to the chorus of animal activists, |
calling for an end to bear bile farming here in China.
Yao called for more care for the Asiatic black bears, also dubbed moon bears for the crescent markings on their chest. Yao also visited a mass bear grave, where Animals Asia buried about 200 bears which died from complications arising from bile extraction.
Animals Asia estimates bear bile farmers hold about 14,000 moon bears in captivity, adding that some keep the animals for more than 30 years in tiny cages.