years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
"Kung Hei Fat Choi"and Happy Chinese New Year of the Horse to all of our friends and supporters around the world! This past year has been an education for us all as we continue to work with awe-inspiring animals who have not only survived, but thrived - determined to put their terrible past and suffering behind them. Against all odds, the last six bears to arrive at our rescue centre in September 2001 have miraculously all pulled through.
Little Sausage, who was so thin and depleted with badly ulcerated paws, was held back for adoption because we were so worried that she wouldn't survive. Today, Sausage is the naughtiest of bears and uses her newly healed paws to grab the buckets and brushes from the caretakers as they attempt to clean around her recovery cage.
Kainara who arrived bearing the scars of a leghold trap - with one remaining claw grotesquely protruding from a badly damaged paw and Pinetree, a terrified cub who could have only known misery in her short life, have both flourished into trusting, inquisitive and beautiful ladies.
Belton Kleberg has the affection of all in the team - with a missing back limb from being snared in the wild, but with front paws the size of snowshoes - and has now perfected his original trick of hurling his bowl across the floor in gleeful anticipation of food - his consuming passion! Unbelievable trust from a bear whose gallbladder was removed by the shocked surgical team after it was found to contain over two liters of pus-stained fluid.
Annie, who shares the same name as our Media Director, arrived a scared and desperately unhappy bear, now grows ever more trusting and Gladly with only one eye, no longer over-reacts with every new noise or movement.
Beverley Elmer, our dedicated Veterinary Nurse, who spends hours coaxing frightened bears to eat, or gives medication to those who are sick, is herself, a pretty rare species. Over the past year, Bev has worked side by side with Veterinary Director Gail, and with Doctors Tiger Bradley and Stuart Ryan - two exceptionally skilled and generous Vets, and with dynamic vet nurse Annette Pule and dedicated assistant Dr. John Wedderburn - all who give so generously of their time and expertise... in return only for an unlimited supply of chocolate!
As they gradually recover in their roomy observation cages, these six new bears will be ready for integration with Aussie, 3-legged Andrew and his friends in the temporary Rescue Center, - and even closer to the final release of them all into the first phase of the new bamboo sanctuary with its Education Centre. Drawings and plans are in their final stages and long hours spent with government officials and lawyers in China and Hong Kong are commonplace as we pour over Land Leases and Memoranda of Agreements; pushing hard towards their completion in order for construction to start. In reality, the paperwork is far more time consuming than the construction itself, but the help and support from our government partners; the CWCA in Beijing and the Sichuan Forestry Department is invaluable and brings us ever closer to finally signing those important "dotted lines".
Happily, all of our 64 bears now have lifelong sponsors who didn't hesitate in offering help - even though no-one could be certain that the bears would survive. We are eternally grateful for the generosity of everyone who has helped to fund the China Bear Rescue - and for giving us the encouragement and confidence to continue. However, this is only the beginning and we ask you please to spare a thought for the bears still suffering on farms, waiting for their cage doors to open, so that they can join rescued bears like Heather, Herman, Smart, Huggy Bear and Lucky Rui. They are relying on people like you to tell their story and set them free.
Bear hugs as ever, Jill."
N.B. RECOVERY CAGES
The recovery cages are a temporary measure, they play an important role in giving our vet team the ability to observe the bears pre and post surgery at close quarters, and very importantly ensure that the bears take their life saving antibiotics. They also give the bears time to adjust to more space and become used to new surroundings. Sadly, farmed bears tend to be terrorized by too much space at once and the recovery cages allow a gentle and secure introduction to their new world of freedom, before final release into the dens and sanctuary.