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Double trouble, but twice the fun

I love going to our sanctuary in Vietnam. These days I spend much of my time at our China sanctuary, which is well-established, mature and heaving with happy, bouncing bears – but Vietnam is glorious too.

The sanctuary there is set against a curtain of secondary pines high in the hillside; these fill the area with their scent and breathe fresh air into our operations below. Here, 25 bears have now been rescued, including our latest two terrors: Maggie and Vader who weigh a robust 3 point something kilos each and have attitudes as big as grizzlies.

We couldn’t help chuckling this week – Leanne, Bec, Pernille, Tuan and I – as little Maggie stood up on wobbly back legs and tottered over to us with lips pursed dominantly, and then swiped, before losing her balance and sprawling into a heap on the floor. Quickly forgetting just why she’d had a moment there, she turned her attention on to her brother and leapt on him, before they both tumbled around in play.

I thought you'd enjoy these photos of some of the team getting to know their latest arrivals. From the top are Leanne and Bec, Tuan and Pernille.

These newest members of the Animals Asia family are absolutely delightful. Maggie is proving to be the most capable of the two and will happily lap her milk formula from the bowl, looking up every now and then with a milky beard and a gleam of satisfaction in her eyes as her filling tum becomes taut.

Vader, bless him, may still be missing mum, as he hasn’t mastered a bowl and cries plaintively for the bottle before attaching himself to its nipple with the force of a vacuum cleaner on full suck.

We’re so pleased that they’re with us, rescued from a life of certain suffering and premature death on a farm – and so glad that they’re in such good condition. But as Leanne said, this, in itself, is tragic as it means that they must have been with mum until just recently – and just what has happened to her? Who can say?

For now, we must put sadness aside and let our fabulous team at Tam Dao carry on with their healing work – knowing that in a few short months, if all goes well, Maggie and Vader will mature into rumbustious juveniles ready to take on the world.

For more on the cubs, please click here.

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