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Vandrew - our Vietnam Andrew

taying with Vietnam in this blog, I can't help getting goosebumps whenever I see Vandrew wandering around outside. He arrived nine months ago on 1 July, and it was like turning the clock back nearly 11 years when I first looked into his eyes. There blinking out of his cage – thin, depleted, wounds on his head and with one entire front limb missing from the shoulder – was the double of Andrew, our first rescued bear in China all those years ago in October 2000.

Vandrew even walks like his namesake, shuffling steadily through the grass as he compensates for the loss of his limb, or sitting proudly on his haunches surveying his new world.

What a stunner he is too. Although he's also missing an eye, Vandrew is beautiful in both looks and in nature – and is quickly earning himself the title of the Uncle of Vietnam (as Andrew did in Chengdu), as he connects so happily with all the other bears he meets.

The integrations recently were, according to Vet and Bear Team Manager Annemarie, just perfect. Now together with Seamus, Roy, PJ, Maggie, Angus and Taurus, the group is one big happy family, and Vandrew is apparently smitten with gorgeous Maggie, who is smitten in return.

Remembering the beautiful words on Andrew's grave in China – "We are not weaker without you, but stronger because of you" – our first ambassador has seen bears like Vandrew similarly capturing the hearts of people across the world, who carry the mission that this disgusting, embarrassing, stain on China and Vietnam will finally be wiped away.

July 2010

March 2011

Integration March 2011

Vandrew and Maggie

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