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The actress is making a difference as a goodwill ambassador for the Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Vietnam

By People Staff
Updated May 19, 2009 07:30 PM
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Actress Maggie Q (Live Free or Die Hard) is drawing attention to an extremely worthy cause: rescued bears in Vietnam. She recently cuddled an Asiatic black bear cub at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park, now home to bears rescued from cruel bile farms.

The Vietnamese News Service reports that the sanctuary’s $4 million Moon Bear Rescue Centre, for which Maggie Q is a goodwill ambassador, will eventually house 200 bears who have suffered for years in these farms.

Bear bile has been an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, the U.S. Humane Society says. Nowadays there are more readily available, cheaper alternatives to bear bile, which is most commonly taken from the gallbladders of Asiatic black bears. Sources tell the Humane Society that there are more than 4,000 captive bears in Vietnam.

The park’s director tells Reuters that he hopes the opening of the new center will prompt a cultural change for captive bears in the Southeast Asian country. Kudos to Maggie Q for supporting the cause!