On a bile farm, black bears are held in "crush cages", which are too small for the bears to stand upright. The cramped enclosures make it easier for farmers to poke holes in the animals' stomachs and then extract valuable digestive juices.
In August, Singaporean AsiaOne reported that one mother bear strangled her own cub and then killed herself after escaping from her cage:
The witness also claimed that a mother bear broke out its cage when it heard its cub howl in fear before a worker punctured its stomach to milk the bile.
The workers ran away in fear when they saw the mother bear rushing to its cub's side.
Unable to free the cub from its restraints, the mother hugged the cub and eventually strangled it.
It then dropped the cub and ran head-first into a wall, killing itself.
Bear bile is thought to cure liver and eye problems. It sells for as much as 15,000 USD per liter on the traditional medicine market. Common demand for the stuff keeps up to 10,000 Asiatic black bears captive in bile farms across Asia.
Text: Caitlin Hu