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).
On 19 August 2010, we rescued a bear from an illegal farm in Dandong, Liaoning Province in China, after the authorities called our China Relations Director Toby to discuss a potential confiscation. The team performing the rescue were Boris, Jen, Fiona, Rocky, Zhang Cheng Jin and Erdi Luo Sheng and the journey – by all accounts from texts and emails from Jen and Lucky along the way – saw problems with traffic jams, the truck delayed and then breaking down, and a whole host of “technical” difficulties totally unrelated to the bear.
The nicest call of them all was the one from Vet Jen who finally phoned to say that we were now the proud family of a male nicknamed “Jonah”, in his early teens, who had been caged and farmed for six years. The farmer had advised that Jonah was fitted with a latex catheter, but of course it was missing by the time poor Jonah was laid out in a health-check – and after the farmer had presumably pulled the catheter out. However, Jonah was still wearing his metal jacket and that too was packed in the truck and taken back to the centre and further damning evidence of the cruelty of this industry.
Weighing about 120kg, Jonah is a long, but short, bear with the worst paw pads Jen had ever seen. He has an opening in his abdomen where tissue is protruding through, but following his health-check was recovering well from the anaesthetic, and enjoying his first taste of fruit and veg and all the good things to come.
Too many people to mention of course but special thanks to Boris and team for the actual rescue, and to Toby for coordinating the logistics with the government when he was first contacted by them, and to Richard and team in Chengdu for arranging the transport etc, and to the vet and bear team on site for all their help and involvement as our new bear moved closer to home.
“Jonah” was still wearing a barbaric metal jacket when we arrived to pick him up.
Jonah looks out of his transport cage – on the way to freedom.