Olivia Newton-John adopts rescued moon bear

14 October 2014

Olivia Newton-John and Jill Robison

She may be rushed off her feet performing her hit new show "Summer Nights" in Las Vegas, but part of Olivia Newton-John's heart is in Nanning, China where she has adopted a rescued moon bear.

Long-suffering moon bear Olivia has spent years trapped on a bear bile farm in China enduring agonising bile extractions.

But thanks to the help of her four-time Grammy winning sponsor, moon bear Olivia's life is being turned around. As part of the biggest bear rescue in history, animal welfare charity Animals Asia is transforming the farm into a sanctuary.

Moon bear Olivia received a health check last month revealing some of the trauma she'd suffered at the hands of the brutal industry.

She had been declawed and her canine teeth had all been cut back to gum level leaving them badly infected and smelling horribly. The infection was so pronounced that it had spread to the surrounding bone.

Mentally, too, Olivia bears scars. Her head is covered in wounds from where she has repetitively banged it against the bars of the cage.

Fortunately, vets found no terminal conditions and expect Olivia to make a full recovery.

Olivia Newton-John said:

"I've followed Animals Asia's work for some time now and it is a pleasure for me to be involved in a project like Peace by Piece. I can't stand the thought of 10,000 bears suffering bile extraction across China. It is a cruel practice and has to end. I'm happy to be able to do my part and look forward to watching Olivia bear go from strength to strength under Animals Asia's care."

Animals Asia is converting the site of the bear farm into an open-air sanctuary. As her rehabilitation continues, Olivia bear will swap her current concrete cell and cage for an open enclosure together with the rest of the rescued bears.

In China, there are over 10,000 bears still in bear bile farms - a practice that Animals Asia is campaigning hard to end.

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

"I know I'm not the only Olivia Newton-John fan at Animals Asia, so it's safe to say that we're delighted to have her supporting Peace by Piece – which is undoubtedly our greatest ever challenge. Olivia is a massive name in music who still draws huge crowds more than 30 years into her career so her support is invaluable in getting our message out to a wider audience."

The "Grease" star, who has sold more than 100 million albums, has also pledged her support to Animals Asia's newest awareness raising campaign, Sh!t in the Woods. To pledge your support and help end bear bile farming, go to www.bearinthewoods.org.

Olivia bear 2