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).
April is our busy season with the launch of Love Moon Bears Week, and a series of activities around China. These include the launch ceremony in Chengdu, Zebra Music Festival in Chengdu, Midi Music Festival in Shanghai and Beijing, and school programmes in many different cities.
The launch ceremony
Around 200 people joined in the launch of “Love Moon Bears Week” and “Moonie’s friend school election” at Paotongshu Primary School in Chengdu on 22 April. Five primary and secondary schools attended and a group of volunteers from two universities helped out on the day. We also had some support from the business community. We were lucky to have a sunny day for the event, and even luckier to have some amazing performances from local university students.
Under the banner of "Moon bears, bring love home", we have joined forces and spoken out loud: No bear farming in China.
Volunteers from the Science and Technology University of Chengdu performed a song written especially for Animals Asia. It was a joy to watch their performance that they have prepared for over 3 weeks. Two theatre plays from Chengdu Yucai Middle School and Beijing University Chengdu Experimental School were very touching, bringing some members of the audience to tears.
The good cooperation with all these schools and solid support from them made it possible to have such an event. Together we will pass the positive message to our future generation about how they can share the planet with moon bears and many other beautiful creatures.
The lively Love Moon Bears Week programme is education-oriented, with volunteers holding painting or handcraft sessions, and Animals Asia staff member Linda giving a presentation. The students were clearly inspired, judging from the beautiful artworks they created. Many of the students took their artworks home as a souvenir.
Meanwhile on the streets of Chengdu were three groups of cyclists crossing the city via different routes, promoting our campaign to end bear bile farming on the way and collecting signatures from supporters. Totally 30 people were on the ride and they did a great job – three Animals Asia flags were full of signatures, and many people took away pamphlets.
Midi Musical Festival
21-22 April, Shanghai
29 April-1 May, Beijing
Animals Asia attended the Midi Festival, as part of Love Moon Bears Week action.
Our main activities were:
- Exhibition “Love Moon Bears: 20 pictures selected from Diandian (a website) and a creative ad competition launched by Animals Asia were exhibited inside our tent. The visitors were able to enjoy this incredible art, while also absorbing important message about the moon bears.
- Hugs from Moonie: As Moonie walked around in the festival, people were so excited to dance with him or have their photo taken with him. Everyone who knows about Moonie’s mission was touched and expressed the wish to fight with us to protect the moon bears. They uploaded their pictures with Moonie to Weibo and @AAF to help promote our project, as well as pledging not to use bile products in the future.
Both events had strong support from local volunteers, from the preparation to the event itself. We really appreciate their contribution.
Zebra Musical Festival
29 April and 1 May 2012, Chengdu
Animals Asia attended the Zebra Music Festival as part of Love Moon Bears Week action. Held in the Poly Park, Xindu District, Chengdu, this is one of China’s best known music festivals and now in its fourth year.
Animals Asia’s collaboration is a result of long-term contact with Zebra Musical Festival organiser, Zebra Media, and discussions since March. The event proved to be an excellent channel for us to gain more support.
We promoted our End Bear Bile Farming project at the musical festival with various interactive games.
Our 15-second ad appeared on the big screen several times a day.
Our logo appeared in Zebra’s promotional material.
We were represented in the Festival handbook with picture.
Our “Moonie” interacted with the audience once a day during the break, while the song “We all have love” (produced by Wu Yue Yi Xiang Culture Media company, especially for our moon bear campaign) was played on the main screen.
The singers made a DVD to support our project. We showed this during the festival and will use later as well.
We decorated our tent with drawings collected from the students during Love Moon Bears Week and played a video on loop with our information and the singers' DVD. Pamphlets were available and posters were on display.
We decorated our tent with drawings collected from the students during Love Moon Bears Week and played a video on loop with our information and the singers’ DVD. Pamphlets were available and posters were on display.
We offered different interactive activities in our area: Hugs from Moonie; handcrafts for kids; and quiz games with prizes.
Hundreds of people had their picture taken with Moonie over the three days and the quiz games were also very popular, with around 200 people taking part. The handcraft sessions were less popular, but those children who did attend and sat down to fold paper bears with us, had loads of fun and showed incredible skill and creativity.
Many people asked for more information about moon bears. People generally showed sympathy for the moon bears and our project. Many even said they would never use bile products. One man insisted on donating 50 RMB to our project, which was very touching.
There was quite a scene when Moonie was introduced on the main stage – and even more cheers when he approached the audience and hugged people, while the stage camera followed him. People were so excited – and Animals Asia’s name was broadcast loud and clear.
We had three busy and fruitful days, with both our staff and volunteers doing a great job.
All in all, Love Moon Bear Week was a great success. Through our various activities, we reached more than 10,000 people. We were thrilled to learn that most people we spoke with had some knowledge of bear bile farming after the media furor regarding a bear bile company’s attempt to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in February. We also gained many new recruits who have pledged to join us in our campaign to end bile industry.