Anyone who has ever met Rupert has a favourite story about him to share – and they came in thick and fast throughout last night and today, after an email went out to let our team know that it was now time for us all to say goodbye. Such is the love for a bear that soaked it all in, and adored being adored for the past 10 years.
Rainbow has also joined us in the truly awful dog and cat markets, bravely capturing the all-important evidence we need to expose this dreadful industry, and keeping at bay traders who become progressively more aggressive as they realise why we are there. The Christmas before last, he led his team along a famous street of dog restaurants with our Dr Dogs wearing signs around their necks proudly announcing: "We are your friends. Don’t eat us” and convincing potential customers of the restaurants to sign a pledge promising never to eat dog meat again.
This was a message I recently sent to guests who’d been on site and watched Ping Guo (meaning "Apple") having her gall bladder removed on the surgery table during the morning. Twelve hours later she was still there. I hope the bear farming industry is proud. This poor bear will also have to return to the surgery soon to have shattered canine teeth removed.
Their eyes bulged with fear as the door of the four-wheel drive opened to expose our new family to the world. Tiny little scraps of moon bears, some 4-5kgs in weight and estimated to be just three-to-four months old.
Nearly five months after her rescue in Vietnam, Nicole's vast bottom seems to take centre stage on the operating table this week. Lying here having a dental from vet Kirsty and vet nurse Caroline, it seems hard to believe that she's already lost a whopping great 30 kilograms since arriving with us on January 21st.
There wouldn’t be too many times that an elephant and a bear come into close proximity, but it’s happened in the UK, with Animals Asia benefiting very well indeed from this unique partnership.
This has been our week of art, as we celebrated some amazing events around the world that are benefiting the bears and our other programmes across Asia.
Tenacity, perseverance and passion pays off again – following the endeavours of two of our brilliant Hong Kong staff who contacted Alibaba Limited after seeing dog and cat meat and fur for sale on their internet site, Alibaba.com – the world’s biggest e-commerce trading portal.
From meat dog in China to pampered friend and celebrity in the UK! Such was the journey of Twizzle, who very nearly ended up in a restaurant in southern China at the beginning of 2009. Twizzle was one of 149 “meat” dogs en-route to the grim live-animal markets of Guangzhou when the truck was intercepted by a Chengdu animal-welfare charity, which called and asked for our help.