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'Tis the season to be silly...

So here we are at the end of another year… one of uncompromising support from friends and supporters worldwide, for which we are forever grateful.

Which year doesn’t bring its own challenges – from urgent re-construction at our China rescue centre, to the latest Vietnam rescue almost compromised by bad weather – whether personal or professional, we rely on each other and on every one of our supporters to see us through.

Our Cat and Dog Welfare and Captive Animal Welfare teams have performed their own miracles all through the year, from rescue and shelter support ... 

Cat & Dog Welfare work

... to training and enrichment, public events and local empowerment, providing real help directly to animals in need across Asia.

Captive Animal Welfare

The stars of our holiday season of course, are always our magnificent, beautiful bears and we love to spoil them with treats to mark the end of another year, celebrating their lives and giving hope for others yet to come.

Bear with Xmas treat

This year I’ve missed them enormously, as for the first time ever, I couldn’t be at the rescue centres to enjoy the wonder and excitement of the bears unwrapping their favourite gifts of the year, and be with our wonderful staff who care for them all. Unfortunately, I'm still recovering from an accident that’s kept me from travelling, but will be back onsite early next year, to bring you all the latest news – and I really can't wait.

In the meantime, please enjoy the usual Christmas shenanigans from our China, Vietnam and Nanning centres, as you feast your eyes on the bears bouncing out of their dens into enclosures decked with gifts and good things to eat!

The China Bear Rescue Centre set the bar even higher this year, as the team took the enclosure decorations to new heights! A fitting farewell to our wonderful Nic (below in red, behind the wheel), who is leaving us this week after 11 years caring for the bears, and leading the team as our Bear & Vet Team Director, China for many years.

CBRC team

Stepping into Nic’s shoes is Ryan (front left), who has been Bear Manager at the China centre for over three years. We are so sorry to be losing Nic, but delighted to have Ryan step up to continue the highest level of care and management that Nic has brought to the role, supported of course, by every member of staff onsite. Huge thanks, lots of love and bear hugs Nic and we’ll see you again soon. 

Click here to see lots more photos from the China Bear Rescue Centre.

In Nanning, despite the limited resources and space available, the team here went all out decorating dens with treats and enrichment...

Nanning

Nanning bear

... and Pumpkin appreciated their efforts just as much as any bear, as she merrily pulled it all apart to enjoy her festive enrichment!

Click here to see Pumpkin's Christmas album.

At our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, the onsite teams led by Heidi, Bear & Vet Team Director, Vietnam spent hours preparing beautiful, creative, festive toys, filled with dried fruit and treats, ready to be demolished by the bears in seconds!

Vietnam snowman

Vietnam team pic

With 201 bears rescued in Vietnam so far, we are fully confident of success in our agreement with the Vietnamese government to end bear bile farming for good, removing all remaining bears from farms by 2022, and providing sanctuary for each and every one.

You can see the full Vietnam Christmas Album here.

To our supporters around the globe, thank you for your faith, your generosity and your support. We've had some wonderful events again this year, the Global Comedy Gala in Sydney that raised the roof with laughs; the Sonning event with loyal and generous friends in the UK; and a tough team of supporters who trekked North Vietnam to raise funds for the bears. Thanks to you all and more who continue to follow, support and believe in us.

Bear gift

Finally and certainly not least, my huge thanks goes to all of our teams worldwide – UK, US, Germany and Australia, and our headquarters here in HK, the backbone of the organisation – all whose herculean task it is to raise the funds that keep, quite literally, everything else working! Our support teams in China and in Vietnam – PR and Education, Finance, Admin, Horticulture, Facilities, Security – each team and each individual is essential to who we are, and we sincerely and enthusiastically applaud your contribution and your passion in reaching our goals.

To you all, the biggest bear hugs of thanks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year… until the cruelty ends.

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