A beary merry Christmas 2017...

Our sanctuaries in China and Vietnam look beautiful at this time of the year, and so do the bears. Happy, healthy, with tummies full of sticky jam tarts and sweet Christmas treats, as our hearts are bursting to thank you for the joy they feel, and give to us all.


Our team in Nanning – where we continue working "in-situ" on the previously operational bear farm – went all out to give 121 bears the holiday season of their lives. Walls decked in Christmas messages (lovingly written to each bear in chocolate sauce), popcorn daisy chains, and personal gifts to open, just for them. These festive scenes and the bears gleefully ripping into their parcels brought tears to our eyes, as we continue working on the permits to bring these bears home.

You can see more of our Nanning bears on our Christmas for Nanning Bears online album! 

At our Vietnam sanctuary, the bears were full of curiosity and excitement with what the contents of their brightly coloured boxes revealed. Our fabulous team had worked their socks off – filling delicious jam tarts, putting up real decorated pine trees, and lovingly making painted piñatas, all for the bears to destroy.


In House 1, Wendles and Bazan (below) needed no encouragement – and hustled out of their dens and into the grassy enclosure, with all the confidence of bears who had been with us for years. Incredible to remember that they were rescued only in April of this year, and yet both now fondly referenced as our square bears, nicely rotund as they feed up – and pad out – just as they would in the wild for the coming Winter months.


Meanwhile, juveniles Wilf and Elsie were a little nervous, but gaining confidence with each hour – particularly as they quickly realised that the goodies were disappearing fast. Nerves soon forgotten, as they plucked up courage, braved the great outdoors and dived onto boxes with all the glee of the "hooligans" they are, as evident from this glorious photo of Wilf!


Milagro in House 2 (below), named by our beautiful US Ambassador Ali MacGraw, clearly felt that the entire spread was especially for him – and looked very happy as he greedily hoovered up six jam tarts in the space of as many minutes.


Cub House bears Layla and Goldie (below), Murphy, Sassy and Annemarie had the party of their lives, as they clambered around the enclosure furniture, and smashed the Christmas piñatas, with inquisitive noses turning blue, green and yellow from the (non toxic) paint.


No time to update on every house, but hoping this video clip makes up for not all the bears being mentioned this time.

And you can see our full Christmas for Vietnam Bears album online.

On to China, and the festivities a few days later at our Chengdu sanctuary saw no less enthusiasm there – from both the bears and excited carers who absolutely love this time of year. More Christmas boxes, creatively wrapped and smeared with strawberry jam, that soon saw the bears peering out curiously from their dens in Houses 2 and 3.

The bell rang, the doors opened, and House 2’s long-legged Delaney was immediately in his element as he easily grabbed boxes way out of reach of many of the other bears – as below, high atop the rock pool!


One-eyed Poppy (below) rather fiercely defended her parcel from enclosure mate Frank, who was "only having a look", but sensibly decided to keep his distance as he thought up a new tactic. Seconds later, in a devastatingly masterful move, he lured Poppy away for a few seconds, before securing his place on her now squashed box, and snaffling the remainder of her treats.


Meanwhile next door, Stardust (below) got grumpy with the other bears and threw a small Christmas tantrum, that finally saw him victorious with three wrapped gifts.


Minutes later, he was seen playing and grunting with bestie Mandela, as peace reigned again in House 3.

Jam tarts scoffed, treats devoured, and paper and cardboard boxes strewn everywhere – job done and Christmas celebrations, bear style, over for another year. See more of our China preparations and celebrations on our Christmas for China Bears album.

But before we go, let's pay a short visit to our delightfully clever macaques, John and Xiao Xiong Xiong, who received their own special gifts at their home in our China Bear Rescue Centre: 

With our love and thanks to each and every one of you, for the silly magical times you help to bring our bears now, and the whole year through. From your family Animals Asia, wishing you all the merriest holiday celebrations and a happy, healthy New Year.  Jill xxx