Because the bile of Asian black bears is big business, the animals are often abused and killed in bear farms throughout Southeast Asia. Illegal bear farms have cropped up in several Southeast Asian countries. Captured Asian black bears are kept there under terrible conditions, often malnourished and in tiny cages, so their captors can draw bile from their gallbladders. Many of the animals suffer this torture for years, and many do not survive.
Estimated number of bears held captive in bile farms in Asia: 25,000
Black market price of an Asian black bear in Laos: $1,000
Annual GDP per capita in Laos: $1,500
Price for a complete gallbladder in South Korea: $7,500