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).
Three weeks after their arrival at our Moon Bear Rescue Centre, the vet team and bear managers are pleased with the progress of the latest bears rescued from the horrors of bear bile farming.
Still residing in the quarantine area known as the “Polytunnels”, the bears have all had their preliminary health checks and are now housed in roomy recovery cages. For the moment things are looking good, with all the bears doing well. However, we will have a much better idea of the long term prospects of each individual after the surgeries to remove their gall bladders and conduct a thorough internal examination, scheduled for early April.
Vet nurse Wendy checks on Billie - a meticulous bear who likes to make the perfect bed of straw.
In the meantime, the bears are growing into their nicknames and their characters are starting to shine through. Belinda, the Bear Manager responsible for the polytunnels, sent us the following update today:
“All the new bears are doing quite well. Scared bears with poor appetites have tuned into curious bears that clean their plates. They all love straw, and make some very impressive nests with it. Bones are the favorite enrichment item – even restless bears that headsway will stop to enjoy a bone. Jam seems to be the favorite smear, but they are all very food motivated.
Dong Fong Hai Wai, Colin, Hamster, and Louis are all young males with big appetites. Barbarella and Pierre both make a kissy noise that none of the others make. They are right across from each other and do it back and forth at each other during the day.
Cazza, Leucadia, Billie, Cao mei (meaning “Strawberry”), and Carney are all very calm bears that seem happy relaxing in their nests. Jack was given a stuffed kong a few days ago, and I have never seen a bear have so much fun. He's usually a bit restless, so it was nice to watch him enjoy himself.”
It is heartening to see these bears come so far so soon, although they are still adjusting to their new surroundings. Some are still nervous, others hide away in sleep and many are suffering from crepitus – a symptom of arthritis. These bears will need time to heal physically and mentally and the care of our dedicated staff to help them.
However, we are all optimistic that these 12 survivors will continue to thrive. Colin is a fine example of a bear finding his feet: surprised at first to find that he had room to move in his recovery cage, he doesn’t intend to lose it. When it’s time to eat or drink, Colin keeps one of his legs firmly at the back of the cage while stretching right across it to reach his treats. Why? Possibly to ensure the space doesn’t disappear – or maybe just because he can!