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Kung Hei Fat Choi!

I've just left our team in Tam Dao, Vietnam after spending another unforgettable time with them and the bears.

Even though it's quiet, with the Tet holidays well and truly begun, a much reduced team is working harder than normal (as they're also doing in Chengdu), allowing their team mates to enjoy some much-deserved rest.

Even while some have drawn the "short straw" of working, I've been met at every step in this beautiful sanctuary by smiling faces and, not surprisingly, by deliriously happy bears.

Perhaps the most joyful of them all to watch this week has been little sun bear cub, Layla. There she was standing up expectantly on her hind legs as she heard footsteps approaching her enclosure, before turning deliberate somersaults in the grass and making sure that we all knew how clever she was.

Layla 1She really had no idea how to expend her energy and excitement - and wiggled her bottom, hugged her head and galloped at top speed around the enclosure - just because she could.

layla 2On this Lunar New Year's Eve, we are all desperately sad that the Halong bears are still on the farms, literally just down the road, and awaiting our care. Even now, discussions held with the authorities who, while supportive of confiscating the bears, are still asking us to be patient until after the new year. Our one consolation is that the farmers know the spotlight is on them and we believe will now provide the bears with basic water and food... we can only keep praying.

layla 3We never forget too, that while friends and families are celebrating happy days together, the animals of Asia continue to need our help and support. Their champions are you and we are endlessly grateful for every second of your kindness and help. Please stay with us - and know that our programmes here continuously strive to deliver the lives that these animals deserve - just like Layla's.

CNY

For the animals, and for the faith you have in our work - Kung Hei Fat Choi, Chuc Mung Nam Moi, Xin Nien Kwai Le, and a very Happy Lunar New Year from us all.

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