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.
The Asia for Animals conference held from 10-14 June was a truly fabulous event that saw over 350 delegates from 25 countries across the world joining together for the first time in Chengdu, China, to address and create solutions for the problems faced by animals across the Asian continent.
Many of you will remember our amazing staff member, Rainbow, who left us exactly a year ago to pursue an MBA course in Hawaii and now has one more year to go. I asked if he'd mind sending an update as we've had several people enquiring how he is and wondering if he's enjoying his journey........
They were so utterly lovely to host in Chengdu — Richard Symonds, and Suzie Marsh and her husband Doug, who had flown over from the UK to meet the bears and gather as many pictures of our gorgeous ambassadors as possible.
Bearmania has well and truly arrived in the UK, and, according to Gill and Nicky in our office there, it seems that everyone in the town of Congleton has taken the bears to their hearts. Long famous for its historical link with bears, the town just recently organised the most amazing event and proudly showed off 75 five-feet tall fibreglass bears decorated by the towns schools, businesses and services. They even included a Bear Mayor!
What a fabulous event just recently in Chengdu after Suki and our Cat and Dog Welfare team pulled out all the stops and launched our brand new event — “Bikers love animals”.
Tuan, our Vietnam Director, sent the most wonderful update recently of a visit by a group of Buddhist monks to our rescue centre in Tam Dao. It brought me back to April 2010 when Buddhist monks visited our centre in Chengdu, China and blessed our newly rescued bears and sanctuary, leaving a veil of calm and tranquility throughout. Tuan’s words below are particularly touching, showing a profound example of the growing number of people who will not tolerate the ugly truth of bear farming in Asia today.
It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait. An impressive and explosive new report by TRAFFIC (the wildlife trade monitoring network) reveals a trade out of control with the message: “Illegal bear bile trade rampant in Asia”.