Following all the excitement of hosting UK actress and celebrity Lesley Nicol on site with the bears in Chengdu, it was off to the UK to join our fabulous team in some fundraising and awareness events, and catch up with old and new friends.
What a perfect way to start an early summer’s afternoon in Chengdu – meeting Lesley Nicol and her husband Da’aboth off their flight from the UK. Despite about 24 hours of travel and little sleep, both were bright eyed and bushy tailed and raring to see the bears.
Our Australia Director Anne Lloyd-Jones has just written about a group of special needs children getting behind the bears, which has ultimately seen both animals and children benefiting from the project. The class is taught by Christine Wilkie, and also Robby Alcorn who is the partner of Animals Asia Ambassador Peter Northcote who, together with Robby and her class so generously sponsors one of our bears in Vietnam - Peter Robert Baynes.
Messages like this don't arrive in our inboxes very often thank goodness, but the message below from Saladin Zhu, our China PR new media officer, shows that one little boy had a very lucky escape last weekend:
Daniel Jeffreys, the Editor of Hong Kong’s Sunday Morning Post Magazine was recently on site in Chengdu reporting on the rescue of the Shandong bears and our work to end bear farming in China and Vietnam. Daniel’s story is out today, with our grateful thanks to him and the South China Morning Post for publicising the plight of the bears.
As many of you know, we had a special VIP guest on site in Chengdu at the end of May – the amazing actress Lesley Nicol who plays the wonderfully popular cook, Mrs Patmore, in Downton Abbey, and her super lovely husband Da'aboth. Lesley's visit comes shortly after fellow Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan was on site, also showing his support for the bears.
The furor over bear farming in China continues to grow - with amazing people here inventing ever more creative ways to get the message out.
Since writing a blog on this in March, nothing can describe the atmosphere of the kids and staff who are 101% on side.
Josef (Sepp) Haüsl is a talented, passionate and incredibly generous photographer who, together with his partner Monika, has visited our sanctuaries in China and Vietnam capturing the most stunning images of our bears.
In amongst the chaos of the bear rescue in China, our Education team were also busy in Chengdu town celebrating Earth Day by spreading the word of bear farming and bringing in new young supporters of our work. Cooperating with the biggest Book Mall in Chengdu, Education Officer Jacky and team set up a display of children's drawings showing the grim reality of bile farming- and even "moved" our education room from the sanctuary to show the audience Caesar's full metal jacket, and Franzi's tiny crush cage.