Animals Asia Founder, Jill Robinson, begins the poignant story of the China Bear Rescue in the first installment of regular updates....
"One of the proudest moments for the team of Animals Asia was joining the authorities from Beijing and Sichuan in Hong Kong on July 24th and announcing the rescue of 500 bears from farms in China. The Agreement cemented years of a sincere working relationship and moved us all closer to our goal of ending bear farming forever.
Now, as we begin the task of constructing the bear sanctuary itself, we are pleased and incredibly relieved to have been given the use of a temporary rescue centre in Chengdu, Sichuan Province so that the rescue can begin almost straight away. In mid-October, we will be joining officials from Chengdu in closing several bear farms and rescuing approximately 30 bears who have spent a lifetime behind bars.
Boris Chiao, our Special Projects Director, is busy working with local officials and contractors in modifying the current enclosures and ensuring that the bears will be safe and comfortable during the first important stages of the rescue. Animals Asia Veterinary Director, Dr. Gail Cochrane, has been preparing the surgery so that she can immediately begin removing the catheter implants in the bears' abdomens and repairing damage inflicted by the original surgery and cage confinement.
For the bears themselves, it is hard to imagine how much they have suffered over the past 15 - 20 years. In the first few weeks of the rescue, we will be working with frightened and pain wracked animals who lost their trust in people long ago. Only time will tell how soon the surgery and gentle enrichment and physiotherapy programs will take effect but, from the first second of their rescue, these bears will be treated kindly for the first time in their lives.
Stay with us and Follow the China Bear Rescue in regular installments as we tell the bears story, From Prisons to Paradise........"