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).
Integration Once the veterinary team is satisfied that all wounds are healed, the bears are slowly integrated into dens with other bears of like-size and temperament. Months of gentle physiotherapy follow, where the team use sweet treats and honey to encourage them to stretch and strengthen atrophied muscles and increase their confidence.
Today, Animals Asia has more than 170 happy, healthy bears in its China sanctuary, snuggling together in their hanging basket beds, tumbling out of their dens to play with new-found friends, or simply relaxing in the grass and enjoying the fresh air. Against all the odds, bears like Rosie, Freedom and Frodo (all missing limbs as a result of being snared in the wild) have miraculously recovered and bravely embrace their new freedom with as much delight and enthusiasm as the able-bodied bears.
Enrichment All animals in human care require an extensive behavioural and environmental enrichment programme to promote the animal’s overall health and well-being, both physically and psychologically. The necessity of such a programme is now widely recognised throughout the world in many different organisations, from rescue and rehabilitation centres to wildlife parks and zoological institutions.
Animals in the wild have an endless array of stimulation and utilise their time by constantly undertaking natural behaviours such as foraging, hunting, socialising, grooming, searching for a mate, creating a safe rest area, caring for young, developing basic survival skills, etc.
The challenge for the Animals Asia team, is continually to come up with new ideas and enrichment items to offer the bears. By rotating (and adding) different types of enrichment choices, the bears have an ever-changing and stimulating environment, which will ensure their health and well-being from here on in. Sharon Holden (an animal conditioning/behaviour specialist from Australia) has visited the Moon Bear Rescue Centre several times and together with the Animals Asia team, has created an ever-changing enrichment programme tailored to help all the bears at the centre.
The results of this enrichment plan have been remarkable. The Animals Asia team rotates a number of enrichment choices for the bears and it is truly heart-warming to see all the bears enjoy their enrichment in their own unique way. This enrichment plan has also given the bears an invaluable gift they have never experienced before – complete control over their environment by giving them the opportunity to choose, to interact, play and behave naturally, which has allowed individual personalities to shine.