A brave bear who spent nearly 20 years being horrendously tortured in cruel captivity has been renamed Paddington in a touching tribute to the Queen.

Animals Asia found the frightened animal "rocking and weaving" in a dark annexe in a bile farm after Vietnamese police alerted them to the insufferable abuse.

The moon bear endured repeated bile extraction since 2005, after she was trafficked to be used for traditional Chinese medicine.

READ MORE Bears hug after rescue from horror 'bile farm' where they were caged and starved

On Thursday ( September 22), a team of determined workers set off on a four-hour trip to save her after they received a call from the Forest Protection Department.

The farmer agreed to release her after he realised the horrific impact of the illegal practice. He said he wanted to give her a new chance at life.

Since her rescue, Paddington has been munching on jars of marmalade at the charity's Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao.

Sarah van Herpt, who helped manage the operation, told the Daily Star: "When we arrived, Paddington was in a dark, smelly cage out the back of the house.

"We could see her head swaying, and knew she must have been head swaying for a long time as she had fur loss and scarring on her forehead from rubbing it on the bars.

"It breaks my heart to know Paddington has suffered, but I prefer to look forwards, not backwards.

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"She will have choice and control back in her life again."

Sarah continued: "Paddington is settling in very well. She is a very hungry bear, and we have to be careful not to feed her too much food too quickly, or she could get sick.

"So far, she is adjusting well to sanctuary life and shows a lot of curiosity whenever she is given something new."

Animals Asia’s veterinary team decided to sedate the bear to conduct stress-free health checks.

After the initial examination, the experts believe that Paddington endured bile extraction for around 17 years.

Sarah said that rescued bears often lack social cues and said their behaviours can completely shut down.

"Bile farming is a cruel industry leading to many physical and behavioural health issues," Sarah said.

"We often see bears with arthritis and mobility issues, dental issues and high blood pressure."

She added: "I was feeling immensely proud of our team, whose hard work over many years of building good relationships with the authorities and raising awareness of animal welfare led to this moment.

"After the wait and getting her out, I felt sad to see how thin she was, but also relief that she was on her way to a better life."

Animals Asia's Founder Jill Robinson, MBE, shared her reasoning for choosing the name Paddington.

She believes it was important to pay tribute to Her Majesty following her death in Scotland on Thursday ( September 8 ).

Jill said: "During Animals Asia’s 24 years of operating, we have rescued 670 bears, and each has a special place in my heart, with unique stories that I will never forget.

"But as a British expat who has lived overseas for decades, the story of Paddington Bear has a particular meaning, as a reminder of my youth.

“The story of a hurt and lonely bear looking for home mirrors the stories of the hundreds of bears we have saved from bile farms, and given a home.

"Having seen so many poignant rescues and wonderful progress at Animals Asia, I was honoured to receive an MBE from her late Majesty.

"And in light of recent events, and joining the world in a sad farewell to Queen Elizabeth, we felt it was appropriate to thank her for everything and name this bear Paddington in her honour, as a tribute to the original story with its message of kindness and acceptance that continues to inspire people everywhere."

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