3-Month-Old Bear Cub Who Was Found in Smuggler's Backpack Settles in to New Home

A three-month-old bear cub who was discovered being smuggled in a backpack in Vietnam is now living in an animal rescue sanctuary - and experiencing the joys of his new home.

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Video shared by Animals Asia shows the sun bear cub, who has been named Murphy, scampering around a play area, climbing up ladders and rolling in the grass.

Murphy's story is a tragic, yet typical one.

He was found in a remote mountainous area by Forest Protection Department rangers. The smuggler admitted to authorities that the cub's mother was killed in order for him to make his getaway with the baby, according to Animals Asia. He will now face criminal charges as a result.

"He arrived whimpering, sad and lost," Animals Asia said. "At six weeks old when he arrived, Murphy became the youngest bear at Animals Asia’s Vietnam sanctuary."

But the cub is now receiving the care he needs to survive. Rescued bears, such as Murphy, will often remain at the center for around two years until they become strong enough to be released back into the wild.

Read: Tiger Cub Abandoned at Birth Becomes Best Friends with a German Shepherd

The playground is crucial for his long term development because it ensures the cub is able to tackle obstacles in the wild.

Bears trafficked in the region are often destined for bear bile farms in China and Vietnam.

In China more than 10,000 bears are believed to be held so that the bile stored in their gall bladder can be sold for use in traditional medicine.

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