Maddie’s aims to fix vet shortage

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

NAPLES, Fla.; ALAMEDA, Calif.–Hoping to hire a fulltime veterinarian, Collier County Domestic Animal Services included a state-of-the-art neutering clinic and diagnostic lab in a $3.2 million new shelter opened on January 12 in Naples, Florida. Shelter director Jodi Walters thought she had offered a competitive salary and compensation package, with the balmy climate and beaches of the Florida coast for an added attraction–but no vet applied, she told Rachelle Bott of the Naples Daily News.

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AVMA to retreat on killing methods?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

SCHAUMBERG, Illinois–The overdue 2000 edition of the American Veterinary Medical Association Report of the Panel on Euthanasia may undermine shelter killing standards and anti-cruelty laws, warned Humane Society of the U.S. director of sheltering issues Kate Pullen in the November/December edition of the HSUS magazine Animal Sheltering. “Issued in June 2000,” Animal Sheltering warned, “the report is already in the final stages [of preparation for publication] despite unanimous rejection by the AVMA’s own House of Delegates.”

Nearly three months after the Animal Sheltering account went to press, the AVMA web page still lists the 1993 edition as current, and makes no reference to the 2000 update. And the faults Pullen noted in the draft report she saw remain troubling.

Retreating from the 1993 AVMA standards to positions traditionally favored by the fur and livestock industries, the draft
Report of the Panel on Euthanasia would allegedly have permitted shooting dogs and cats to death as a matter of animal control routine, not just in emergencies; would have eased restrictions on the use of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas chambers; would have conditionally allowed the electrocution of cats and dogs as well as foxes, mink, sheep, and swine; called manual suffocation by such means as standing on a trapped coyote’s chest “apparently
painless”; and accepted the use of body-crushing traps as an allegedly humane method of killing small mammals.

The draft Report of the Panel on Euthanasia was prepared at a time when pentaphenobarbital, the lethal injection drug of choice in U.S. animal shelters, had been in short supply for six months. The scarcity resulted from a shutdown of the only U.S. factory that makes the drug, for antipollution repairs ordered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Because of the shortage, some shelter directors agitated for permission to return to some of the killing methods of the
past–especially gassing, still used by many high-intake shelters because it allows staff to kill more animals, faster, with less personal involvement. The Animal Humane Society of Hennepin Valley, for instance, serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, annually gases 10,000 to 12,000 dogs and cats.

The 1993 Report of the Panel on Euthanasia approved of gassing under stringent conditions which are often not met. In Louisiana, for instance, the League In Support of Animals recently found that Vermillion Parish was killing animals
with water-cooled fumes from an automobile engine, a method deemed unacceptable for decades. The Vermillion Parish Police Jury in early December agreed to begin using a gas chamber that meets the 1993 AVMA standards. Even in the South, where shelter norms tend to lag, most shelters have quit gassing.

Jim Larmer, former animal control director in Augusta, Georgia, used a gas chamber until September 1998, when TV footage of asphixiating dogs caused former mayor Larry Sconyers to order an immediate end to gassing. Larmer continued to defend gassing, and after repeated clashes with Sconyers and his successor Bob Young over a variety of issues, finished his time to retirement on a forced long vacation.

Gassing went on at the Humane Educa-tional Society of Chattanooga until March 28, 2000, when shelter worker Vernon Dove Jr., 39, accidentally gassed himself. The gas chamber was then dismantled and the Humane Educational Society was fined $22,800 by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

But many animal control shelters still use killing methods from the 19th century–with impunity. Animal control staff in
Rogers, Arkansas, for instance, on January 4 escaped charges for drowning cats in a 55-gallon drum between June 1996 and August 1998, when Washington County deputy prosecutor Matt Durrett ruled that they did not intend cruelty. The drownings were reportedly instigated by Rogers code enforcement chief Matt Matthews.

Courage, compassion required of Bengal coast animal rescuers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

VISAKHAPATNAM, IndiaРStreet dogs and staff of the Visakha SPCA remained at risk from mob violence well into January, and the Visakha SPCA Animal Birth Control program remained suspended, after a Christmas Eve invasion of the ABC facilities by goondas who demanded that Visakhapatnam resume electrocuting dogs. A political patronage hiree named Bangaraya was reportedly paid about $1.75 a day to kill street dogs until Visakha SPCA founder Pradeep Kumar Nath won an Andhra Pradesh High Court order stopping the electrocutions in October 1998.

As Nath and Christine Townend of the Jaipur-based animal rescue charity Help In Suffering each documented in photos sent to ANIMAL PEOPLE, Bangaraya and helpers packed dogs brought by the municipal catchers into a steel cage mounted on a trailer. The dogs were left in the tropical sun, without food or water, until the cage was filled. Reaching the cage capacity of about 40 dogs usually took several days. Then Bangaraya hooked the cage to an extension cord, and hosed the dogs down. Dogs who were still not electrocuted after half an hour were dispatched with iron rods. Municipal records indicate that at least 86,400 dogs were electrocuted, speared, or beaten to death by Bangaraya and staff between 1986 and the cessation order.

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Kenya update: anti-poaching gains and a shocking dispute

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

NAIROBI, Kenya–ANIMAL PEOPLE in January/February 2000 reported from Kenya about snare removal sweeps by Youth For Conservation in the Kenyan National Parks, anti-poaching projects funded by the British charity Care For The Wild, and the elephant-and-rhino orphanage at Nairobi National Park run by Daphne Sheldrick of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. All three are again in the news.

Youth For Conservation may be driving bushmeat poachers out of the parks, as a recent three-week sweep of the Mara Triangle found just 27 snares, far fewer than previous sweeps. YFC has removed 2,354 snares altogether, founder/director Josphat Ngonyo told ANIMAL PEOPLE.

The sweeps will continue, as bushmeat snaring is on the rise elsewhere in Africa, and it may be only the frequent presence of YFC volunteers along National Park perimeters that is suppressing it in Kenya.

Ngonyo, who started YFC as a Sheldrick Trust staffer, now works fulltime for YFC. The International Fund for Animal Welfare underwrote the YFC budget for 2000, but YFC now must become self-sustaining.

While YFC fights meat poaching, done mostly by Kenyans, Care For The Wild has long helped the Kenya Wildlife Service to fight ivory and rhino horn poachers, who are often associated with Somali private militias.

“Care For The Wild has built a new headquarters for KWS at Ithumba in the north of Tsavo East National Park,” CFW operations director Chris Jordan told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “Ithumba is only 250 miles from the Somali border, and the poachers had a free hand during the recent rains and flooding. We built housing for 30 rangers, an armory, a radio room with photovoltaic cells for power, a workshop for vehicle maintenance, and an aircraft hanger. The project is the
largest that we have ever attempted. We built it in just five months, with no outside help.”

Daphne Sheldrick, widow of Tsavo National Park founding warden David Sheldrick, and herself founder of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, meanwhile clashed with longtime supporter William Jordan, DVM, over her occasional use of electric prods to discipline young elephants. Raising orphaned elephants and returning them to the wild for more than 40 years, as the first person to do so successfully, Sheldrick currently has 18 in her care.

Jordan, founder of Care For The Wild, and father of Chris Jordan, has helped Sheldrick with fundraising since the beginnings of both the Sheldrick Trust and CFW. But Jordan is also a director of the Captive Animals Preservation Society, which won a European Union ban on the use of electric prods in zoos, and recently exposed electroshocking at the Blackpool Zoo in England by guest elephant handler Scott Riddle, of Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in Greenbriar, Arkansas.

Sheldrick in a letter to CAPS described using mild electric shocks to condition baby elephants who “tend to knock people down.” She believes the training reduces the risk that the elephants will be shot for menacing humans after release. Sheldrick said she did not shock angry elephants, which she said would be “a recipe for disaster.” William Jordan remained adamant in opposition to any use of electroshock. Sheldrick Trust spokesperson Diane Westwood said she would urge Sheldrick to stop using it.

Youth For Conservation may be reached c/o P.O. Box 27689, Nairobi, Kenya; phone 254-733-617286 or 254-2-606478; fax 254-2-606479; e-mail <y4c@alphanet.co.ke>.

Care For The Wild operates from 1 Ashfolds, Horsham Rd., Rusper, West Sussex, RH12 4QX, United Kingdom; telephone 44-1293-871-596; 44-1293-871-022.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust may be contacted c/o P.O. Box 15555, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone 254-2-891996; fax
254-2-890053.

New drug dart for deer

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

LONDON–Harmlessly tranquilizing or innoculating animals from many times the range of previous syringe guns, the new-design high-speed Ecodart will at last make practicable the administration of contraceptive drugs to deer, says inventor and deer management consultant Richard Price.

Conventional syringe darts land with such penetration force that they cannot be safely fired at a speed of more than 80 yards per second, Price recently told Daily Telegraph science correspondent David Derbyshire. That limits the delivery range to under 30 yards, with no crosswind–closer than deer can usually be approached.

The Ecodart flies at more than 1,500 feet per second. Made from carbon-bonded glass, the nose cone shatters on impact, releasing a gas bag which inflates to the size of a grapefruit, preventing deep penetration while propelling the drug dose into the animal.

Price unveiled the Ecodart two weeks before Humane Society of the U.S. researcher Alan Rutberg and Morris County, New Jersey, cancelled a three-year-old deer contraception study at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum. They had managed to dart only 14 deer in 1997. Just two were later relocated for examination.

A similar study underway at Irondequoit Park in Syracuse darted 65 deer, 1997-1999, but doing the job took researcher
William F. Porter and team 3,000 hours.

Coke quits rodeo; SHARK shows Dodge who builds tough trucks

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

CHICAGO, LAS VEGAS, COLORADO SPRINGS, DETROIT–Things went better with Coke for Steve Hindi and SHARK. Eleven months after Pepsi Cola withdrew from advertising in bullrings, yielding to an 18-month global boycott, Coca-Cola advised Hindi on November 16, 2000 that “While our products may be available at some arenas where
rodeos may take place, we are no longer a corporate sponsor of rodeos or any affiliated organizations, including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.”

Explained Hindi, “A Coke representative announced the decision after viewing a documentary by the French public television station ARTE. ARTE field producer Uwe Muller and SHARK worked together in October to obtain video footage of three PRCA stock contractors abusing animals and violating even the PCRA’s loose humane regulations. The ARTE documentary was aired to over 33 million viewers in Europe.

“This is a huge development,” Hindi continued. “Coca-Cola is three times larger as a corporation than Pepsi, and rodeo is vastly more popular in the U.S. than bullfighting, but the Coke executives never needed to face a demonstration to recognize after they saw the video that continued support of rodeo would violate their corporate policy against animal abuse. Coke’s withdrawal poses a major public relations blow and financial blow to the rodeo industry.”

Hindi thanked Trillium Asset Management Corporation senior analyst Simon Billiness for facilitating negotiations with Coca-Cola, thanked Vermont veterinarian and former rodeo performer Peggy Larson for expert advice, and thanked ANIMAL PEOPLE for introductions.

Hit rodeo finals

Then Hindi headed back to the Chicago-area garage where he was finishing the first of an envisioned fleet of Tiger video protest trucks, featuring oversized TV screens on all four sides of the box, with digital signboards to tell viewers what they are seeing. The $150,000 prototype hit the road to the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas on November 28.

“By driving more hours than was prudent, we made the 1,800 miles in under two days,” Hindi said. “On December 1 the Tiger approached the arena where the rodeo was to be held and lit up the evening with the rotten truth about rodeo. The rodeo stooges were at first shocked, and then started going through the roof, flipping me their I.Q. from all directions. Real people were equally taken, but they suddenly had a whole different impression about the goofs strutting around like John Wayne.”

The Tiger was featured on two TV news stations and in both Las Vegas daily newspapers. “California activist Lucy Shelton had a lot to do with that, exhibiting persistence that went beyond the call” as volunteer publicist, Hindi acknowledged. The Tiger debut tour drove on to El Segundo, California. “Late that afternoon the Tiger screens lit up outside the Mattel buildings, near the Los Angeles International Airport,” Hindi recounted.

“Mattel took offense at inserts of their bullfighting Barbie doll among our bullfighting footage. First they had their security people tail me. Next they called the police, and an officer pulled me over. He said the Mattel people claimed that the truck and I were suspicious, and they feared I was casing the place. I never would have guessed that criminals cased intended targets in big trucks that light up the evening,” Hindi laughed.

“I explained that Mattel knows who I am, what SHARK is, and what the issue is. The officer knew he had been played for a fool. He didn’t like it a bit. He wished me well, and said he would let the other area cops know what was going on.”

Beats ratings fears

An ongoing handicap for the anti-dog-and-cat-eating campaign led by Kyenan Kum of International Aid to Korean Animals has been that mainstream TV in the U.S. and Europe will not show the public how the animals are routinely tortured to death because too many viewers would change the channel.

In mid-December Hindi took Kum into the cab for several evenings of demonstrating how the Tiger can take graphic depictions of abuse directly to the public, bypassing media gatekeepers. They called ANIMAL PEOPLE by cell telephone during a pass by the Los Angeles Korean Consultate, but talking proved impossible because so many pedestrians kept coming up to the open windows of the Tiger to take handouts telling what they could do to pressure the Korean government to halt dog-and-cat-eating.

Hindi then took the Tiger back to Chicago for its 6,500-mile oil change. Along the way he took an impromptu detour to see how it played in Colorado Springs, home of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. “The media jumped at the chance to cover the big truck when it challenged the rodeo animal abusers right where they live,” Hindi said. “And the cowboys? They huddled in their headquarters and hid! Korean government officials did the same thing. “When people see animal abuse, they agree with us that it has to stop. They join us. That’s what this movement needs to succeed.”

By the second week in January the Tiger was on the road again, this time to circle a Daimler-Chrysler auto show in Auburn Hills, Michigan, asking the Dodge truck division to cease spending $6.6 million a year on rodeo advertising. Hindi introduced the Tiger to Detroit media as a “concept vehicle,” and a “revolution in engineering”–which it is, involving applications of TV technology never before attempted.

Hindi and SHARK still have to raise the funds to pay off the prototype, before they build more. But compared to the cost of broadcast time to distribute a much weaker version of the message for just 15 to 30 seconds at a shot, Hindi’s conclusion from the first trials is that the Tiger is a bargain–and it hasn’t even been painted yet. “It’s the most effective tactic I’ve discovered in 11 years of campaigning,” Hindi said, a strong claim from the man who in 1992 stopped pigeon shoots in Illinois after 100 years of failures by others, and has rarely gone for long since without achieving a comparable lasting victory.

BOOKS: Build Me an Ark & Journey of the Pink Dolphin

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:
Build Me An Ark
A Life With Animals by Brenda Peterson
WW. Norton (500 5th Ave., New York, NY 10110-0017), 2000.
256 pages, hardcover. $23.95.

Journey Of The Pink Dolphin
An Amazon Quest by Sy Montgomery
Simon & Schuster (1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020), 2000.
320 pages, hardcover. $26.00.

Shelved side-by-side in bookstore nature sections, Build Me An Ark and Journey of the Pink Dolphins are each personal memoirs of a midlife vision quest by a distinguished female naturalist. Each centers upon encounters with dolphins, as a metaphor for the whole human/animal relationship. But Brenda Peterson and Sy Montgomery are not engaged in the same quest. Neither do they draw from their observations the same or even a similar perspective.

Montgomery pursues the highly endangered boto river dolphins deep into the Amazon rainforest. Peterson rarely ventures far from home. Yet Peterson is engaged in the more arduous journey. Her first memories are of a playpen surrounded by deer and elk heads. Her quest began with her gradual realization that the animals she mistook for beneficent guardians were in fact dead victims. Worse, they were killed by her father–and her father, not her “high-strung” and distant mother, was her primary caretaker during her infancy at a National Forest Service ranger post in the High Sierras.

Peterson tried to accept her father’s explanations of the need to kill to eat. But her only memories of her fifth year of
life, in San Diego, concern her repressed misgivings as she helped to kill slugs in the family garden.

Peterson’s family were fundamentalists. Southern Baptist faith held them together as they crisscrossed the U.S., following her father’s career advancement opportunities.But Peterson found no answers in religion. The story of Noah
seemed to speak to her, as she first heard it at a small church in Montana. Then her sister asked their father what the animals on the ark ate, if the lions truly did lie with the lambs.

The lions “probably ate rodents or small rabbits, which were multiplying faster than the ark could hold,” their father guessed. Recalls Peterson, “I was never again as easy in my mind. What were all those animals in the ark actually eating? If some of them were eating each other, then was Noah’s family also eating some of those animals, even though God told Noah to save them?”

In any event, Peterson realized, “There was no ark to be found atop these Rocky Mountains. My peers, children of farmers and ranchers, were at the advanced age of nine presented with guns. Animals were their targets. The hallowed predator/prey relationship my father spoke about with more reverence than any church sermon was
missing in my schoolmates’ relationships to other animals. Montana kids saw animals as just food–or worse, target practice.

“I could not fathom the neighbor girls who raised sheep for their 4-H projects,” Peterson continues. “Lambs like living,
delicate doll babies were loved, adored, even dressed up in silly fake flower hats. Then at the 4-H shows, these seeming members of the family were judged, awarded blue ribbons, given a tearful last embrace, shorn, and slaughtered. I kept my distance from these neighbor girls, knowing their affection and loyalty could never be
trusted.”

Eventually Peterson read the Biblical version of the Noah story, and was shattered by verse 9:20-22, which explains that Noah celebrated safely landing the ark on Mt. Ararat by sacrificing and burning the remains of one of each kind of animal he had saved.

Like millions of other American children, Peterson accepted Smokey the Bear as an icon, but that too proved disillusioning, when she met the sadly institutionalized real Smokey at the National Zoo, while her father headed the Forest Service in Washington D.C. When that ended, the Petersons moved to Berkeley, California. Thousands of youths then were running away to Berkeley. –but Peterson fled in the opposite direction, back to the more conservative ways and green hills of rural Virginia.

Brought back to Berkeley, Peterson became involved in building People’s Park, a symbolic patch of green in a city which was already among the greenest in the world. She successfully pursued her education; failed miserably in
one of the first attempts to organize lower-echelon Forest Service workers; struggled for five years to start a literary career in New York City; and–as her father became perhaps the most destructive sawmill owner in Montana–found her way to environmental reporting.

Many of Peterson’s stories have been heavily covered by ANIMAL PEOPLE, among them the anti-wolf purges repeatedly ordered by the Alaska Board of Game; the Makah whaling revival; and the marine mammal captivity debate, including the ill-fated saga of the Sugarloaf Dolphin Sanctuary (detailed by Ric O’Barry in his new book, To Free A Dolphin, reviewed by ANIMAL PEOPLE in December 2000.)

The facts Peterson recounts will be familiar, along with her experience in feral cat rescue. But Build Me An Ark is not just an autobiography, nor is it a political history. Rather, Peterson explores her own ever-growing appreciation of animals, and the evolution of others’ attitudes. Her relationships with her father and mother, improving in recent years, represent in microcosm the difficulties that all animal people have in coexisting with relatives and institutions to whom animals are objects, or have no value whatever.

Of special note is Peterson’s grace in describing painful conflict. She condemns deeds, not people. She feels her own
hypocrisy in easing acquaintance with Alaskan hunters and trappers by saying she eats game meat sometimes. She does not say whether the statement is true or false; either eating animals or lying about it, she appears to admit, would be equally false to her values.

Sy Montgomery, on the other hand, declares herself a vegetarian early in Journey of the Pink Dolphins. Yet a photo
displays “A red-bellied piranha, whom we later ate.” Nor is that her only lapse into meat-eating. Where Peterson savors insight, chiefly gained from animals, Montgomery revels in sensation, of any sort. Tasting an unfamiliar fruit, for instance, Montgomery describes “flesh slippery and bitter, like a mouthful of semen. I swallow the seeds.”

That passage is audacious even for Montgomery. But throughout Pink Dolphins she affects a brazen semblance of “magical realism,” the literary style popularized by Brazlian novelist and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is not Montgomery’s natural voice; neither does it lift her explorations above the level of an extended travelogue, even in her concluding apocalyptic revel:

“Out of the water, the dolphin-men emerge. Joyously, each joins his lover, re-enacting the promises by which we know the fullness of the world. The botos swim, the dancers dance. But in the western sky, the Amazon is burning.”

What “promises by which we know the fullness of the world?” Though the phrase may sound deep, there is no meaning in it.In the end, though Montgomery delivers some predictable hand-wringing about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, the ongoing exploitation and abuse of forest-dwelling people, and the loss of rare species, all she arrives at–after several thousand miles of exploration–is a chance to swim with a few river dolphins before they disappear.

Peterson by contrast opens by explaining her conscientious decision to give up swimming with captive dolphins, her most treasured rite for many years. Her narrative proceeds in a style so unaffected that it never seems self-conscious.

Even the illustrations of the authors highlight their differences: Montgomery hugs and seemingly almost rides a small
dolphin, grinning toothily into the camera, while Peterson, depicted in a painting, hides her face behind a mass of dark hair to put the focus entirely upon the expression of the beluga whale in the foreground. She is there, her posture suggests, only to hear the whale sing.

Peterson reveals her soul while keeping her personal secrets; and while she makes no such claim for herself, it is evident that she has in her own way fulfilled her mother’s ambition that she should become a Southern lady. For even as Peterson challenges her guests to reappraise their beliefs about animals and nature, with hard-earned strength in her deceptively soft voice, she makes each one comfortable–much as she learned long ago to move quietly through a forest, so as to share more intimate moments with the wildlife.

Peterson concludes with her hope for a kinder and more tolerant future: “The sea lion surfaces far off, with fish spilling from both sides of his be-whiskered snout. I smile as in his wake seagulls skitter, dip, and steal some of his catch. Today there is enough for all of us on this beach, on this spinning, sea-encircled planet.”

Take care of the animals, Peterson seems to say, and their magic will take care of our souls–much as she imagined those ghost deer and elk took care of her, 50 years ago, as her imaginary friends. –M.C.

Showdown at the not-okay corral

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

CHENNAI, India–When lives depend on the health of horses, you keep the horses healthy. Even Wild West desperados who broke all Ten Commandments on a daily basis knew that–because the penalty for failure was to be caught and hung.

Civilization thrived in Pune and Madras, now called Chennai, for at least 5,000 years before the U.S. west was tamed.
Yet Haffkine Bio-Pharma Limited of Pune and the King Insti-tute of Preventive Medicine, in the Chennai suburb of Guindy, apparently never learned what illiterate gunslingers knew about horse care.

The two labs are now Exhibits A and B for more stringent regulation of lab animal use in India, as demanded by federal
minster for social justice and empowerment Maneka Gandhi, in a head-on clash with Tamil Nadu health minister L.K. Tripathy and Indian Medical Association state chapter president P.K. Kesavan.

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Tapping the wells of kindness in China and southern Asia

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

HONG KONG; PAN YU, Guangzhou, China; SEOUL, South Korea; KARACHI, Pakistan–Two burly Asiatic moon bears at a time lick strawberry jam from the hands of Jill Robinson, 42, at the prototype Animals Asia Foundation sanctuary in Pan Yu, China. Four more bright-eyed bears watch, as eager for their treat as any dog, yet with patience too. Another bear, the oldest, is blind. He follows with his nose each handful of jam, each apple, each grape, and each blueberry that Robinson dispenses. Only scars in the bears’ abdomens reveal their past.

Robinson met these bears in 1993 at a so-called “bile farm” behind a decrepit hospital in Hui Zhou, almost immobilized in small cages. There were 13 bears then. Metal shunts resembling those driven into trees to extract maple syrup were implanted in each bear’s belly, to collect bile. The bile, with medicinal qualities akin to corticosteroids, was used to make a variety of traditional drugs.

“It was absolutely devastating, almost unbelievable that sentient creatures were kept in such a way,” Robinson told
Australian reporter Lyn White. “The bears had scars along the length of their bodies from the pressure of the bars on the cages. They had ulcerated paws, ingrown claws, wounds from banging their heads against the bars, and gaping implant sites–inflamed and infected.”

The bears were crazed to the point of being deadly dangerous, and their keeper teated them brutally, to maintain dominance. Robinson became inflamed and infected with determination to get them out of there. But China at the time had 10,000 bears in similar cages with catheters poked into their stomachs, with plans to quadruple production by 2000.

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