Ricky Gervais adopts an Asiatic moon bear rescued from bile farm17/07/2014 16:45:16
Comedian Ricky Gervais has adopted a rescued farmed Asiatic black (moon) bear in China and named him Derek after his comedy-drama.
Ricky, a champion of animal welfare, has long supported Animals Asia in its campaign to end the barbaric practice of farming endangered Asiatic black bears for their bile in farms across China and Vietnam.
Derek is thought to be approximately 10 years old. Parts of his forehead are raw from continually rubbing the bars; behaviour typical of caged bears.
Like many rescued bears he has few teeth, most of which are rotten and in need of extraction. His front paws have been painfully declawed to protect the farmers who extracted bile. But none of these conditions are life threatening for Derek and he will quickly learn to adapt to all of them.
Animals Asia’s founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE, presented Ricky with a picture of Derek and a short film of the charity’s UK Ambassador Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey’s Mrs Patmore) telling Derek of his celebrity sponsor during her visit to Nanning.
Ricky said: “Derek is a beautiful but very damaged bear. After such a sad and traumatic existence on a bear farm I am thrilled to have adopted him as one of 130 bears currently being rescued by Animals Asia in China and long to see him enjoying his new life in the sun.
"I so admire this historic initiative to turn a bear farm into a sanctuary and applaud the efforts of everyone involved.”
Bear bile is used as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicines treating liver and ophthalmic conditions, despite the existence of over 50 herbal and synthetic alternatives.