Starry, starry night

It’s just a few weeks until I will be in the UK and meeting our amazing supporters — old friends and hopefully new friends too. The main event, a Starry Night for the Moon Bears on Thursday 19 June 2014 (Gilgamesh Restaurant, Camden, London NW1 8AH) is shaping up to be a very exciting and entertaining evening.

Our lovely supporter Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey’s Mrs Patmore) has worked her socks off to make sure this will be a night to remember! Lesley and — subject to availability and final confirmation — quite a few other members of the Downton cast will be attending. These include Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary and Allen Leech (Branson) who will be providing the cabaret, and possibly other stars such as Sophie McShera who plays Daisy. I am thrilled to be seeing our Animals Asia UK ambassador and actor Peter Egan again, who will also conduct an auction, including celebratory items from Manchester United, a special painting by Pam Ayres MBE and a highly collectable bear sculpture.

Writing this blog from Nanning where we’re conducting health checks this week on bears at a bile farm (that we’re converting into a sanctuary), and looking forward to catching you up on all our recent news too.

Places are limited and tickets are £80 (including a welcome drink and ½ bottle of wine) for a delicious two-course vegetarian/vegan dinner by award winning chef Ian Pengelley.

I hope you can join me as I hear from Lesley that the entertainment is going to be very special indeed — fun and poignant all in one — and if you haven’t already, please book your tickets now by calling our UK office on 01579 347148.

Soon after this event there will be a fantastic guided walk, about the Animal History of the St James’ Park area on Sunday 22 June at 3pm. I attended this walk last year and it was great fun and very surprising to find out more about which members of the Royal Family were true animal lovers, along with seeing the current and lively pelican inhabitants of the park. It really illustrated the role horses, dogs, cats — even elephants and giraffes — have played in British history through the centuries and puts into perspective how quickly China is changing in its attitudes to non-human animals.

This year, the walk is dedicated to Eddie, my special friend and our Dr Dog Ambassador who passed away in May, but did so much during his fourteen happy years to show how dogs are our loving friends and helpers.

The walk is limited to just 20 people (no children under 10) and must be booked in advance (price £25). To book your place, please call 01579 347148.