“Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face”
Yes, it’s summer time at our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in the foothills of Tam Dao National Park. And while that means plenty of sun and swimming, it also means plenty of rain.
The wet season throws up a number of issues for sanctuary staff – but each bear reacts to it in their own special way.
Some seem to love running around in the rain – such as the gorgeous three moon bears enjoying a good splash in this picture.
But others, like the moon bear diving for cover under the platform, prefer to stay nice and dry, either under cover or safe in their dens.
Meanwhile, for Animals Asia staff, the wet season has its own challenges
In our Chengdu sanctuary in China, flooding was so severe last year that we had to take emergency measures to move several of the bears to higher ground. Luckily, the rains eased off, just as the riverbank’s flood defences were at full stretch.
In Vietnam too, a small river running through the sanctuary grounds picks up the rains running off Tam Dao mountain and often rises above the small bridge, meaning bear teams have to ford the river several times a day just to keep the bears well stocked in fruit and treats.
As ever though it’s the staff that take the strain with the emphasis on trying to keep the bears’ routine as close to normal as possible. These pictures were taken in the wake of hurricane Haiyan last year and quite obviously all the anxiety wasn’t picked up by the bears – and the elements didn’t appear to scare them.
Which is, of course, just how it should be.
This year we’re hoping that the rain will provide nothing more serious than cool showers for the bears and fresher working conditions for staff.
Happy #moonbearmonday everyone!