The Simple Bear Necessities: Adam Equipment CPWplus
It's time to weigh the bear cubs at Animals Asia's Vietnam bear sanctuary, and Senior Veterinary Surgeon Kirsty Officer turns to her trusty Adam Equipment CPWplus scale. The CPWplus is perfect for the job she needs to do - make sure those young bears are thriving and gaining the proper amount of weight.
These aren’t ordinary baby bears. They are very lucky bears, rescued from a bleak future at a bear bile farm. These farms harvest bear bile for use in traditional medicine to cure ailments ranging from headaches to hemorrhoids, and sore eyes to liver problems.
Adult bears are slowly dying from bile extraction procedures. Cubs that are too immature to produce adequate quantities of bile are slaughtered for their whole gall bladders and paws. The process of bile extraction is crude and painful, oft en resulting in dangerous leakage of bile into the body and a slow, agonizing death from peritonitis.
Preliminary veterinary checks
Called moon bears because of the moon-like markings on their chests, the Asiatic black bears are highly sought-aft er for their bile and are dwindling in number as a result. Across Asia, thousands of bears live a life of torture on bear farms. They are confined in cages for as long as 30 years, causing physical and mental suffering.
“The bears are subjected to cruel, inhumane methods to remove the bile from their gall bladders. Our Moon Bear Rescue Centers strive to end bear farming and the bile trade.”– Jill Robinson, Animals Asia’s founder and CEO
CPWplus measures growth
Once the bears arrive at the sanctuary, they are logged in and given an initial check-up by veterinarians to establish any severe medical conditions. They are taken to quarantine, where they are given water and food, which consists of fruit and browse (tender shoots, twigs and leaves of trees and shrubs).
The next day, the vet team performs a more in-depth examination, weighing the animals, documenting injuries and ailments, prescribing medications and scheduling the necessary surgeries. Vets also repair or remove teeth that are broken from years of bar-biting, or deliberately cut back by farmers. Their eyes are checked, and their blood is analyzed. If the bears are injured or need to undergo surgery, they are monitored in recovery cages.
When the bears are ready, they are moved into a bear house with a grassy enclosure, Robinson said. They are grouped based on age, temperament and available space and are gradually integrated with other bears, learning to be bears again. Once the bears become accustomed to their new surroundings, they enjoy swimming, wrestling, climbing and playing.
Their daily diet includes fruit, vegetables, nuts, honey, dog food and a variety of browse. The cubs are weighed frequently, as much as daily when they are very small, Robinson said.
“This ensures proper growth and the daily adjustment of milk formula. When they get a little older, they are weighed three times a week, and eventually reduced to once weekly or monthly. When the bears are full-grown, they are weighed quarterly to monitor their general health. The size of the scale is ideal, as it is small enough to move around easily. It’s also helpful that the CPWplus accurately reports small changes in weight, crucial when a cub is tiny.”– Jill Robinson, Animals Asia’s founder and CEO
According to Tom Storey, Adam Equipment marketing director, this particular model of the scale is ideal because it can handle a maximum weight of 35 kg, adequate for a growing bear cub. Not only that, it has features designed to help workers deal with weighing wiggling cubs while trying to get an accurate weight.
“The CPWplus provides dynamic weighing, along with a hold function. This can be set to lock in the weight on the screen.”– Tom Storey, Adam Equipment Marketing Director
Generally, the cubs cooperate at weighing time as long as the treats keep coming, Officer said with a chuckle.
To find more information about CPWplus scales, visit www.adamequipment.co.uk/cpwplus-weighing-scales.