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From the mouths of babes

Have had a wonderful week with my sister Anne and family in the UK - where we also enjoyed the award-winning Christmas play, "Skellig", at the Bloomsbury Theater in London, with all seats so generously donated by the Birmingham Stage Company as a fundraiser for Animals Asia.

A truly magical play where goodness prevails and just fabulous to see friends and supporters who had braved the bad weather and come along to join in the fun. 

BBC "Floggit" host, lovely Paul Martin (who sponsors our gorgeous Bluebelle bear - named after his beloved dog), kindly came along to help us with the auction at the end of the evening - with an amazing array of donated gifts, including another perfect bear sculpture by Suzie Marsh. Sadly our UK Patron, and Founder of Born Free Foundation, Virgina McKenna, was snowbound and couldn't make the show - but sent a beautiful message which Paul read out to the audience.

Now leaving on Boxing Day to return to Hong Kong and China, and quickly catching up with events around the world before leaving. There was a story on Sky News about a hippo sanctuary in Israel where the animals were "breeding too much" - so what do they do? Anaesthetise them at night, crate them up, and ship them to zoos across the world. The zoologist they interviewed proudly boasted that any zoo taking them would have an animal that will "make you very happy for 40 years".

As I sadly watched the broadcast, I could hardly believe what I heard next from my niece, Nicole, as she blinked at the screen and said in a quiet voice: "They're splitting up families". Perhaps the message of animal welfare is getting through more than we realise and there is hope for all species if an 11-year-old can so wisely understand their plight.

See here for the full story.

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