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Watermelon’s surgery a success

Watermelon’s turn on the surgery table today. This sweet and rather dopey bear has broken and won everyone’s heart from when he first arrived. Although his mobility has improved, it’s pretty certain now that he is blind - but my, it has to be said, he is a truly magnificent boy.

Lying there rhythmically breathing under anaesthetic with glossy black fur and a body that can now be called a bear’s rather than a miserable mess, he is slowly beginning to glow with health. And they really don’t come more handsome than this.

Shaving up his abdomen for the surgery, once again our hearts drop to see the scars and infected tissue from where the butchers on the farms have made such a mess of his body. Frankenstein would be proud and I just can’t fathom how disconnected from such obvious agony these people must be.

Luckily our team here knows the real meaning of veterinary training - not to mention the Hippocratic oath and, before long, have removed his damaged gall bladder and are stitching up Watermelon's abdomen, we hope, for the very last time.

Sadly, Haribo was not doing so well today since his surgery yesterday. As sometimes happens, he has vomited a few times, causing some stitches to break. Repairing large hernias are always a challenge - damaged muscle needs to be cut away and closing the edges together is always more problematic than in the abdomen of a normal bear. But the vet team has rises to the challenge again and I couldn’t be more proud.

Heather, Jen, Wendy, Caroline and Judy - and of course our brilliant “A team” of Howard, Rocky, Ai and Tiger who lugged these bears to and fro from the table were all nothing short of fantastic today - these have been a tough few weeks for everyone and yet they undertake every task with such professionalism and kind humour.

Still, I cannot help swearing when I see what these farmers are responsible for. And how much our team hurts when they do everything in their power to heal what the farmers have damaged so callously. We literally take shells of animals - worthless in the farmers’ eyes, and repair their battered and bruised bodies - if we can.

Both Watermelon and Haribo will hopefully be OK. Haribo will be given drugs to make him feel less nauseous after waking up and lots of tasty and medicated fruity shakes. And, as they sleep more peacefully tonight, I wonder how the farmers can.

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