Animals Asia rescued a moon bear named Snow from a bile farm in Vietnam's Dak Lak province last December

By Amy Jamieson
May 12, 2017 04:00 PM

For many animal rescuers, there comes a moment when they know all hope isn’t lost and the animal they’re caring for is going to be okay.

For Animals Asia, the group that rescued a moon bear named Snow from a bile farm in Vietnam’s Dak Lak province last December, it was the moment Snow played with Poe.

Snow’s outward signs of neglect were clear, according to a story on the group’s website. When he was rescued, he had an unkempt claw that for years curled round and grew into his flesh. Perhaps even more excruciating was the situation inside his mouth: as they watched him try to eat, they found he was missing a tongue. Animals Asia believes it was torn off.

Surely, that’s when rescuers wondered if Snow could ever recover from something so horrific — but then, caught on camera was a glimmer of hope.

In the video, watch as Snow plays with Poe, another rescued bear.

“To see Snow assert himself – after all he’s suffered – is a hugely positive sign that he trusts the bears he’s living with and feels relaxed and hopefully ‘at home’ in the enclosure,” said Animals Asia bear manager Sarah van Herpt. “He was telling Poe, ‘Let’s play,’ but it also felt like he was telling us, ‘I can do this. I’m ok now. I’m happy here.’ ”

To learn how you can help Animals Asia with its work, click here.