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).
Gypsy succumbs to the sociable George's greeting hug.
This week our Behaviour and Management team put together two bears of seemingly very different character – Gypsy, anxious, restless and stereotypic, and George, friendly, inquisitive and very sociable.
When they were in quarantine before moving to their new dens, Gypsy stereotyped in her recovery cage more than any other bear, pacing up and down and swiveling her head. George on the other hand, was inquisitive and a bit cheeky by nature.
When they moved into their new dens in Rehab before Christmas, George was eager to make friends, pawing at his neighbours through the den dividers (slides). Unfortunately this didn’t go down well with one neighbour, Laetizia, who reacted with dismay and growled if poor George even looked in her direction through the slides. Gypsy on the other hand, after her initial elation about being released into a den and charging around splashing water from her water trough, grew restless and her pacing resumed and increased until her paws bled. So the bear managers decided to move her next to George who was friendlier than Gypsy's first neighbour and closer in age.
Instantly they took a shine to each other and for several weeks now they have enjoyed each other's company through the slides, pawing at each other and rolling around beside the slide. Gyspy's pacing stopped and they made it very easy for the team to select this pair as one of the first integrations from March 2008's arrivals.
This week, Nic our Bear Manager, the Bear Team Supervisors and Bear Worker Chen and her team positioned ourselves and opened the slides between dens. George, who was in a basket at the time, climbed down as fast as he could to greet Gypsy. Almost instantaneously, the pair were wrestling and playing and this continued all day.
Not one growl was heard from them (just from neighbour Laetizia who was most unimpressed by all this fun going on next door) and chasing, mutual paw biting, jumping on one another, clawing and rolling around ensued. Panting and smiling they fed side by side at their evening feed before one last wrestle in the basket together.
When Nic looked in on them later on in the evening George was on his back in one basket snoring and Gypsy was in the basket next to his yawning and licking her lips before bedding down after what must have been one of the most happy and exciting days in these bears' lives.
Gypsy regains her composure and teaches George how to play tag.
The bears played for hours, totally delighted with each other's company.
Exhausted after the step-wrestling challenge, Gypsy and George shared dinner before settling down happily for a good night's sleep.