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).
Once the weather cools down Caesar gets busy digging in for the winter.
Tibetan brown bears Benji and Poupouce, enjoy a dip in the pool at their old home.
Tempted by treats into the transport cage, Caesar and the bear team prepare to move.
The bear team rally round to manoeuver our very big bear into her new den.
Ceasar's transport cage is carefully locked into place, before the door is raised to release her.
Transferring bears into new dens and enclosures is always a team effort, and none more so than last week’s move of three very special bears – Ceasar, the only brown bear at the centre, and Benji and Poupouce, two lovely Tibetan brown bears - fondly and collectively known as “The Browns”.
These last few weeks have shown a real team effort from all areas to prepare for the big day, and after months of careful planning, construction, and final safety and security tests, the bears were loaded up and moved to their new, permanent home.
Substantially larger than our moon bears, Caesar, Benji and Poupouce have a few extra demands in terms of enclosure size, security and equipment resilience, not to mention their drive to dig in for the winter! For these reasons, Boris, our Projects Manager and his team have paid meticulous attention to the design and construction of the new enclosures and even incorporated “bunkers” where the bears can hunker down when the mood takes them, without digging up half the enclosure!
Before the bears were moved, much needed to be done – preparation of the dens and enclosures with tasty treats and enrichment items to make them feel at home and comfortable, planting and development of the outdoor area to make it as natural as possible, new procedures and protocols for the management of the new dens, additional staff recruitment to cover the new area, fencing and security protocols to be implemented and tested……. The list goes on.
Nic our Senior Bear Manager, sums it all up below, along with her huge thanks to everyone for making it happen so seamlessly and successfully:
“I just wanted to say that these last few days and weeks have really shown a real team effort from all areas and departments to get ready for the Browns. Boris, Robin and the projects team have worked tirelessly, and into the night on Monday, to get this project complete for the bears to be moved. We really couldn't have done it without them and especially Boris' attention to safety detail!
Human Resources for helping Howard, myself and other bear managers and bear team supervisors recruit new bear workers to accommodate this new house and enclosures.
Finance - for helping order last minute items for the house and preparing the storeroom with stock for the enrichment calendar.
Centre horticulture for their planting in and out of the enclosures.
Maintenance for preparing electric fences and helping with last minute tweaks to make the house and enclosure bear friendly, people friendly and safe.
Pernille in Vietnam and Sharon in Australia for putting extra time in to get the new enrichment calendar finalised.
Sharon for giving valuable input into the most suitable protocol for these bears to myself and Donata.
The translators who have worked so hard to ensure calendars and protocols are bi-lingual.
Christine for making sure all important locks were ready.
The Bear Horticulture team for preparing enrichment structures in enclosures.
Education for covering the Brown's story.
And of course for the magnificent Bear Team Supervisor, the rest of the moving team, the House 1 and House 9 & 10 teams and the bear managers for getting the house equipped, for co-ordinating and moving the bears, for checking house and enclosure and preparing the enclosures for the big release.
Donata has worked tirelessly with the new Brown's team today making sure they are comfortable with their protocol and routine. Belinda, with help from Ai and Rocky, ensured enrichment toys and food were at the house in preparation.
Gosh - I'm sure there is more - like the kitchen crew preparing food…..and so it goes on.......everybody on-site did an amazing job."