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).
Moving the bears to the double bear house in preparation for outdoor integration.
With a team effort in Vietnam, the move across the river went without a hitch.
First things first: Zebedee makes friends right away with his new neighbour Henry.
Learning to play again: one very happy bear and his ball!
Moon Bear Rescue Centre, Vietnam: Rescued from a cage in a dark corner of a back kitchen, Zebedee stepped out of his recovery cage last week, putting the past behind him and embracing his new-found freedom with absolute joy.
When he first came to the rescue centre, this bear had suffered 14 years in a cage, having bile extracted on demand, and still bore the scars and pain of mistreatment from years before. His face was scarred and misshapen and his teeth rotted with infection, which meant that he lost most of them when undergoing his post-rescue surgery.
Despite his years of isolation and agony, Zebedee quickly showed himself to be a forgiving, playful and gentle bear and has taken his rehabilitation in his stride, while endearing himself to the Vietnam teams along the way!
As there are always bears in various stages of rehabilitation, Zebedee had to bide his time before a den became free in River House, after some of the River House occupants were transferred up to the bigger double bear house, in preparation for their next move - outside into the enclosures. The whole Vietnam crew - bear managers, vet, bear teams, kitchen, maintenance and security staff - recently swung into action, taking all of these bears one step further on their recovery path.
Bear Manager, Belinda noted "Everyone was given a job to do, and it all went off without a hitch. Bears being bears, naturally a couple of things got damaged as soon as they got the run of the house, but maintenance was on it right away, and all was restored! By the time we left the house for the evening all the bears were quietly eating dinner with no worries."
After 14 years in a cage, Zebedee climbs excitedly all over his den.
With dens now free in the River House, the next day was Zebedee's turn, and as always, this lovely boy co-operated fully and made the move without any drama or cause for concern. Once at the den however, his attitude changed and the Vietnam teams were delighted by his response!
"This was his first time out of a cage in 14 years, and he did great", said Belinda. "He walked right out and started exploring the den with confidence, climbing up on the platforms, playing with toys, and generally just moving about - it was incredible to watch him enjoy something so basic as having the freedom to move around in open space. And not forgetting the neighbours - Zebedee very quickly made friends with Henry next door."
The next step for Zebedee will be integration with other bears, and it may well be that he and Henry become best buddies. Only time will tell which bears suit each other for long-term group living, but for now, Zebedee is one step closer to regaining his life - with friends, open space and only the best of care for the rest of his days.