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Tiny Bears in Great Danger

Reported by
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Wildlife Trafficking
November 17, 2020
Malaysia is a known source and consumer of bear bile products in Asia, and sun bears are persistently poached to meet the demand for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Surveys of TCM outlets in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak were conducted in 2018 and 2019 as part of continuing efforts to monitor the availability of bear bile products in the country. Despite being illegal, the trade in bears and their parts persists, although with fewer TCM outlets offering such products in comparison to numbers reported in previous studies. In 2012, 42% of TCM outlets in Sabah and 35.4% in Sarawak were found to contain bear bile products. The threat of illegal trade, combined with loss and degradation of suitable habitat and food resources as well as conflict with humans, puts sun bears at considerable risk.
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