Sanctuary Caregiver Day - with love to our caring family from the bears

Today, 14th June, is Sanctuary Caregiver Day. Ten days after featuring our sanctuary team in my blog of 5th June – When our Bears Die collectively helping to give our bears their final moments of blessed peace, we celebrate these same compassionate leaders in Vietnam and China, gifting our bears with the best days of their lives.

Their caregiving is off-the-chart remarkable – with days and meetings choc-full of inspirational new ideas and actions to keep our rescued bears contented, peaceful and amused. Bears are such naturally curious and inquisitive animals – and they know instantly when something new is placed in their enclosures or into their dens and immediately get to work checking it all out.

person with enrichment toy
China Bear Rescue Center - Chengdu

Babu delights in playing with a new hanging toy.

But it doesn't just stop at one new toy or an extra piece of enrichment because, like a ten-year old child, they quickly become bored and their attentions turn to exploring and investigating the next new goodie that finds its way into their paws. And here our caregivers are always one step, and one new toy, ahead.

food and enrichment toys
Vietnam Bear Rescue Centres - Tam Dao and Bach Ma

Working weeks and weekends in thunderstorms, in sweltering heat and humidity, rain or shine – their oversight and enthusiasm ensures that every den is clean and comfortable, and shows off paddling pools filled with cool water, novel hanging mobile toys, or basket beds lined with banana leaves and straw. 

Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre - Tam Dao

Carefully tended pools provide hours of entertainment for the bears – solo fun...

bears in pool
... or big pool parties.

Outside the dens, every grassy enclosure is a playground – every wooden platform scattered with daily delights of different food, every swimming pool sparkling and ready for fun, every boomer ball and Kong toy filled or smeared with tasty new treats – all waiting for every bear to explode out of dens, and enjoy a grand day ahead in their own great outdoors.

women with buckets

Food enrichment and browse – a big favourite with the bears. 

And when our ursine residents are happily engaged, our team now turn to the practical matters of the day; retrieving and mending broken and discarded toys, repairing battered enclosure furniture, preparing medications, overseeing bespoke bear physiotherapy and cooperative care sessions, chopping kilos and kilos of fruit and veg, and reviewing and completing countless forms and medical charts, ensuring that Sassy and Zebedee and Delaney and Bonnie and every single satisfied bear flops into their beds at the end of the day, healthy and contented, with fat, full tums.

Enclosure enrichment – structures to play on and food distributed to encourage foraging.

two bears
Play structures offer exercise, shelter – and games for Hercules and Autumn.

So thank you our super caregivers, from the bears, from your family Animals Asia, from your friends and supporters across the world for being the heroes these bears never had. They owe their lives, and their love of life entirely to you – and as they sleep and enjoy bear dreams, they know that the next morning will start another day of purpose, play, foraging and fun.

Preparing food at the China bear kitchen.

Vietnam – bear carers at the Bach Ma sanctuary.

Dear sanctuary carers everywhere, you are our pride and joy – this is your day – with love and gratitude from us all.