Nearly 800 people from 43 countries have participated in a half-marathon to raise awareness of the protection of bears in Vietnam.
The event themed “Run for Bears – End Bear Farming” was organized in Hanoi on Sunday morning, calling for support and assertive actions to end the farming of bears for their bile in the Southeast Asian country.
Around ten years ago, bear bile became a hunted-for item on the black market in Vietnam due to its rumored medicinal properties.
The craze for the digestive fluid – produced by the liver and stored in the bear’s gall bladder – led to the mushrooming of bile bear farms across the country.
The half-marathon was organized by the charity club Red River Runners (RRR), in partnership with Sporting Republic Company and Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV).
It was the fifth edition in a row the RRR had organized to raise funds for wildlife protection in Vietnam.
|Runners pose for a photo at the half-marathon. Photo: ENV|
The event attracted almost 800 participants including teams from the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the delegation of the European Union in Vietnam.
This year’s half marathon included 21-kilometer, 10-kilometer, five-kilometer challenges, a three-kilometer family run, and an 800-meter kid sprint.
A participating fee was charged, ranging from VND270,000 (US$12) to VND950,000 ($42), depending on each race.
All of the money raised by the run will be used to support activities to put an end to the bear bile industry.
The run was the start for a bear week taking place across Vietnam from December 10 to 16 to encourage the public to take part in the protection of the wild animals.