And so to Nanning...

Over in Nanning - first the biggest tribute of thanks and respect to our staff who've been working around the clock at the ex bear farm in Nanning, as we work to bring the 113 bears home to our sanctuary in Chengdu.  Our dedicated team members are rotated for months at a time to help care for the bears in sub-optimum conditions, as licenses to manage and transport the bears "home" continue to be settled. As this day finally moves closer, again I want to thank all staff working at this facility for their immaculate patience and care for the bears. 

bear

Today, the bears are light years away from how they were when we first took over this farm. Their coats are gleaming, their body condition amazing, and their pain removed, as surgeries and health checks have continued  "M.A.S.H" style in less than ideal circumstances throughout this time. We become increasingly optimistic of sending out good news in the New Year and meanwhile of course our local elves and Santas are giving the bears here their festive spoiling too!

HC team

Senior Bear Manager Molly and team continue to work their socks off - overseeing these bears, and ensuring that each and every day is filled with interest and fun.  Of course the little extra's at Christmas have really sparked their curiosity, and the sweet mince pies are just one example of the novelties they've enjoyed.

Stan bear

Molly, translator Maggie and bear carers Lu Wen, Juan and Zhou Feng Yu began by laying out the most beautiful spread in the dens of Shed 2 - marshmallow icepops, little wrapped boxes of nuts and seeds and banana leaves dabbed with strawberry sauce.  As she wandered over to investigate, Adithi jumped back in surprise, as if she'd never seen anything so scary as a little mince pie! 

team decor 1

team decor 2

With tongue in cheek Molly wrote MERRY CHRITMAS on the wall in jam, after hearing that Jingle bear in Chengdu had destroyed the "S" in the Christmas banner! Max wasn't fussed about the spelling and had a wonderful time licking it off, while Adithi virtually ignored all her gifts in preference for a banana leaf dotted with the sweet strawberry sauce.

Adithi - Merry Chritmas

Because the smells of the sauce and mince pies were now wafting around the shed, other bears were sniffing the air with interest, and of course received their festive goodies too. 

max

Derek (with no eyes, no front claws, a tongue that perpetually hangs out, and the character of a gentle yellow Labrador), loved Molly hand feeding him his own mince pie, and Theresa next door couldn't wait to tuck into hers too. 

Derek

Over in Shed 3 Coconut and Amber were also being spoiled with the same festive den enrichment...

amber

...and Frances and Tom Boy slurped down their mince pies with gusto.

 Tom Boy

Pickle Nicol stood patiently at the bars of her little den watching Coconut and Amber scoffing their treats with eyes growing wider and wider as the mince pie approached her, nose twitching until it was right in front of her eyes. And then....she completely ignored it. Even breaking it in half so that all the fruity goodness could be smelled did nothing to entice her and she spent the entire couple of minutes looking at it - and me - with undisguised disdain.  What would her sponsor, the lovely Lesley Nicol (our Ambassador and Downton Abbey's beloved Mrs Patmore) say, when word got out that the bear of the world's most beloved cook refused a tempting piece of pie? 

Pickel Nickle

Meanwhile besties Burnie and Norman were playing the fool in their paddling pool - too excited with the rough and tumbles and trashing their enrichment "logs" to worry about Christmas treats!  Playing for hours, while other bears were also having fun with their logs, or enjoying the straw they were given - and taking it to the back of their dens, or lining their hammocks and hunkering down.

All the while, our vet Eddie, and vet nurse Nathalie were performing health checks on several of the bears, with Molly and our fantastic bear carers joining in and helping them too. If you look closely at the wall behind Eddie, Nat and Molly you can see the scribbled wall sign of "kindness in action" - because this is what they and our entire staff are.

See more of our Nanning Christmas Bears here.

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