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).
Rescued bears settle into quarantine and individual characters show through
As the 18 surviving bears from last week's rescue in Vietnam settle into their 45-day quarantine, they have become calmer and their true colours are beginning to shine through.
Sweet bears, lazy bears, playful bears and downright cheeky bears - they're all here, keeping the rescue centre staff on their toes!
Having observed the bears since their arrival, Bear Manager Belinda sent through the following updates:
Italia loves straw and browse, and is the best nest builder of the whole bunch. She is a sleepy girl, and has a poor appetite, not eating very well since she arrived. It seems as if she may be in season but right now we're unsure if this has anything to do with her poor appetite. She looks very good, and has a beautiful coat of hair.
Henry is a very playful but naughty boy. His favourite past-time so far is pulling his water bowl into the cage, and then playing “keep-away” with the bear workers. Great fun for him, but we all hope he gets bored of this soon! He loves browse, straw (he makes himself a pillow), all enrichment, and only leaves carrot behind at feeding time.
Grace has a very long curly coat of hair. She is a bit lazy, but has a healthy appetite, and always gets up for browse, enrichment, etc. She is completely blind, but has no trouble finding what she wants, and has a very calm demeanour.
Grace has no problem locating the honey smears on her play-box.
Jeannie is a small, well-proportioned bear with a smooth forehead. She is a bit lazy in the mornings, but quite active in the afternoon. She has a great appetite, one of the few that cleans her plate. She loves her straw and enrichment.
Chocolate is a long slender boy with a brown nose. He is very crafty, and has learned that if he stands up and reaches far enough he can steal his neighbours' browse! He has a great appetite, finishes all his veggies, and loves browse, straw, and enrichment.
Gus was very stressed when he woke up in his new home, and bounced continuously throughout the first day. The next day we were all very happy to find him content and very curious. He loves straw, and only leaves carrot behind at feeding time.
Peggy has a beautiful coat, short legs, and a “Rupert” face. She paces on occasion, but also lies content in her straw. She has a good appetite, but doesn’t like tomato or carrot.
Noodle had a nasty wound on the end of his tongue upon arrival, and had to have a chunk removed. He had a hard time eating even soaked mazuri (dry bear food) and chopped veggies, but he kept going until all the food was gone. However, only a few days later, he was doing great and is now eating a normal diet. He is a very curious and playful bear that seems to love everything.
Tuan is a very big boy that loves sitting in his straw playing with browse. He seems very content, but can also be a bit naughty and likes to grab the hook while the bear workers are trying to clean. He has a very good appetite, and eats all his veggies.
Naughty at times, Tuan disarms staff with his curiosity.
Grahame is a beautiful boy with long hair (looks like a girl) and a very dark, smooth face and forehead. He will head sway on occasion, but seems content most of the time. He has a good appetite, but does not like carrot.
Anne is a big girl with a smooth forehead. She loves her straw, browse and enrichment. She has a good appetite, but does not like cabbage or tomato. She will pace around feeding time, but is very content overall.
John is missing his right front paw, and seems to be blind. In spite of all this he is a very calm and curious boy. He comes right over when he hears noise, and starts sniffing the air to see what’s going on. He seems to like it when we talk to him as well. He is a beautiful boy. He likes the straw, browse, etc., and eats all his mazuri and rice, but will not touch any veggies.
Trouble is very alert, and will take a swipe at you if he gets the chance. He clucks when he gets nervous, and will head sway on occasion. He really likes ripping apart browse, and has a good appetite, only leaving carrot behind.
Simon is a big, beautiful boy, and our second Rupert look-alike. He is very content sitting up like a human, leaning against the back of the cage. He loves straw, browse, and enrichment. He will pace on occasion, but it seems to be in response to food. He has a good appetite, but doesn’t like carrot.
Clara is a slender girl with a smooth forehead. She likes relaxing in a straw bed, and has enjoyed all enrichment. She eats all of her mazuri and rice, but leaves all veggies behind.
Nicole is a really, really, really big girl, and not one that can claim to be big-boned – if you poke her it makes waves! You can’t even see her tail. I’m guessing she will be on a measured portion soon. She has a great personality, and not surprisingly, a great appetite as well.
Nicole will need careful weight-management to improve her health.
Puff is a very noisy, curious girl. She always has her nose poking out the front of the cage looking at what is going on. She will swipe at you if she gets the chance, but overall she has a very cute personality. She gets very excited at feeding time, but only eats the mazuri and rice. No veggies for now.
Polly is our boy with a girl’s name, but I don’t think he’ll know the difference. He is a very big boy, and he’s missing his left front paw. He starts bouncing and clucking late in the day, but seems content for the most part. He eats all of his mazuri and rice, but leaves all the veggies. He loves browse, and has eaten all enrichment except coconut.
As Belinda and the bear workers get to know the bears better, we will add more updates.
In the meantime, the vet team will soon be scheduling surgery for each bear to remove their damaged gall bladders and assess their internal condition more closely. Hopefully in about six weeks’ time this group will be ready to begin the move to large dens, in preparation for integration.