Turning the blog over to our UK Director Gill Maltby today, with masses and masses of congratulations for the most amazing feat that she and the team achieved the other weekend in a gruelling - and very wet - mountain trek to the summit of Snowdon.
Fiona in our UK office has come up trumps with a fabulous idea for helping our projects and animals in Asia!
Our fabulous volunteer Annie Ditton has done it again and made our bears smile! Annie, who's over in Chengdu volunteering for the third time was recently joined by her two sisters and, together, they generously bought a watermelon each for the bears.
....And another fabulous pic by Annie, who took on the challenge of capturing our beautiful To Zhai's amazing smile. Many of you may remember that it was this smile that saved To Zhai's life when Irene, Carrot and I (together with kind volunteers Loka and Todd) rescued her from the horrible meat market in southern China.
Our annual summer camps just get better and better — and this year’s was particularly special as it had all attendees thinking “outside of the box” and brainstorming how bear farming can end.
The pictures and YouTube film can’t possibly replicate the evening featuring Bands for Bears in Sydney last week. Organised by the most incredible musician on the planet, Peter Northcote and his manager the lovely Tanti, the evening rocked for nearly five amazing hours. Twenty-six of Sydney’s most talented musicians joined together for a sell-out event highlighting the suffering of caged and farmed bears across Asia — and celebrating freedom for those lucky enough to have been rescued in China and Vietnam. These talented people put on a world-class show that you would normally see at places like Madison Square Garden — and the venue, Notes, just rocked.
It's always super to hear from staff who have left Animals Asia for pastures new — and to smile at the fond memories of life on site in China or Vietnam. Our former vet nurse, Hayley, recently read all about Rainbow's amazing "journey" in Hawaii on my blog and decided that she'd like to write something too. Obviously I jumped at the chance to feature this update and to send a big hello to Hayley from us all, and to say how much we miss you too.
Thanks to those of you asking how rescued meat-market dog To Zhai is doing today. I’m so very pleased to tell you that the answer is......... brilliant! A gorgeous lady much adored by all staff on site in Chengdu, and now "fostered" officially between vet Monica and I who share her in turn.
I don’t know where these past few weeks have gone, but back now in Chengdu with the bears I’m feeling that our mini-roadshow in the UK was a long, long time ago. Gill, Nicky, Lara and team pulled out all the stops as ever and the presentations there flew past in a haze of smiles and nostalgia as we met new friends and old who tirelessly and passionately help our campaigns.
When artist and all round thoroughly nice bloke Richard Symonds came out to Chengdu just a few weeks ago with equally lovely sculptor Suzie Marsh and her husband Doug, he told me that he couldn't wait to get started on helping the bears.