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Five more fighting to survive

I’m leaving Chengdu today with a heavy heart and flying to Germany for presentations next week. It’s always sad to say goodbye to the bears and team – and this time is particularly hard. It’s been a tough few weeks for us all.

While bears like Poodley, Watermelon and even angry Plug are “stable”, others are not – and Heather and the rest of our vet team are seriously worried about five in particular – Sarah, Rasta, Suki, Eeyore and Flipper. These five have been sectioned off in the third quarantine poly-tunnel as a precaution in case of any viral implications that could be transmitted to the other bears.
Like Plug, we are angry too. We believe that the farmer of the facility closed has deceived us – and has swapped any healthy bears he had for those that were sick and dying on surrounding farms. How clever he is.

But while he’s counting his money, he should know that we don’t regret paying for these poor animals, broken and destroyed by his cruelty; at least we had the chance to end their miserable, agonising lives. These bears’ stories are being heard throughout the world via a shocked media that is bringing shame to this greed-driven industry. And this time, the farmer may have been just a little too clever for his own good, because government officials are shocked too.

The 11 livers we have removed, at three times their normal size, with putrid, decaying flesh and hardly an inch of what could be termed “healthy tissue”, are adding to the evidence we are building with doctors here in China. What person in their right mind would take bile from an animal so badly diseased – and now we are closer than ever to showing that there could indeed be a serious impact on human health.

Now it is up to us to rebuild the broken bears we have left – their bodies, their spirits, piece by piece.

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