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Our Blue Moon Gala for the Bears!

Oh what a night.  A star-studded event that shone a spotlight on our bears, and saw much-needed funds raised for them too.  Held in Shanghai - the Grand Hyatt did Animals Asia so very proud through such generous sponsorship, while the room itself saw nearly 300 guests walk into a beautiful forest fantasia, with a hundred different hues of green. 

There in the midst of this natural wooded wonderland was our very own Jasper - featured everywhere as an iconic symbol of the stunning moon bears we rescue in China and Vietnam. Kindly and creatively designed by Yixing Design, the room was astounding, giving everyone there the impression that moon bears were well and truly in their midst!

room backdrop

Generously sponsored by Flexi, an innovative dog leash manufacturer in Germany, the evening saw a multi-course sumptuous vegan dinner, culminating in an extravagant dessert of beautiful chocolate bears. 

bear desert 1  bear desert 2 

In celebration of the moon bears, the stars came out for us too. Our beautiful Patron and Asia-wide celebrity, Karen Mok, was radiant - and saw an awe struck audience as she spoke with such passion about her rescued bear, Bao Bei, and the importance of why this species must be protected in the wild.

karenMok&JillRobinsonPhoto courtesy Stech @ Precis magazine

Our first introduction to Olympic boxer Zou Shiming and his lovely wife Ran Ying Ying, did not disappoint. Both were so truly sincere in their love of animals - and noting too that their two sons are absolutely "crazy" about bears! Shiming gave a wonderful presentation that left the audience in no doubt about our responsibility as carers of the earth and we are looking forward immensely to seeing them both at the bear sanctuary early next year.

Boxer 1Photo courtesy Stech @ Precis magazine

Hong Kong megastar Tony Leung captured everybody's attention as he spoke on a video screen from his home.  Wonderfully self effacing and humorous, he spoke movingly about animal protection before so generously pledging RMB100,000 to the night.

That day coincidentally, was also model Tong Chenjie's birthday and I was delighted to join her in making a wish for the bears and blowing out the candles on her birthday cake for luck.

sponsor board

Photo courtesy Stech @ Precis magazine

Our endless thanks to all those who sponsored such amazing and high end auction prizes - and to Benelux Chamber of Commerce and Jiang Chunyu of the China Energy Company Limitedwho were so very generous on the night. Mr Jiang and his wife had recently been introduced to us by my very good friend in Beijing, Zhangdan - herself an absolute champion for all animals in China for decades.

Mr Jiang (left) and Zhangdan (second on right)

My heart was full as the evening honoured Jasper. Caged for 15 years before his rescue, and living for another 15 with us in Chengdu until he sadly passed away in April of this year, Jasper was the ultimate example of forgiveness as he became the peacemaker of the sanctuary and the stealer of our hearts. UK film maker Andrew Telling had created a beautiful video clip of this iconic bear and with a presentation about his life seeing so many in tears, we knew that the audience had embraced him and all of the bears in China and Vietnam.

Rescued wild bear Rainbow also featured on the night, with the inspiring story of her rescue from the mountains of Peng Zhou after she had been caught in a snare - and to her successful release, back into the wild a few weeks later. 

Rainbow paintingPhoto courtesy Stech @ Precis magazine

Last but not least, my endless thanks to Whitney Yang who headed up a spectacular Animals Asia team that saw a seamless programme from start to the end. The organisation saw Whitney and our entire team working like Trojans for months before, and absolutely running ragged on the night. The evening was not only a tribute to the bears, but to them with so much respect and appreciation to them all.

backdrop 2

Thank you, to the moon and back, to each and every guest who came along to support this work - and is now inevitably and inextricably joined with our bears and our work to help save and protect as many as we can.

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