“Danny has hobbies: being stroked, car watching and smelling feet”. And so goes a verse in the poem “A Day in the Life of Danny the Cat” by celebrity poet Benjamin Zephaniah who came to see us on site in Chengdu this week.
As we celebrate the year of the Tiger, it’s ironic to see such hideous treatment of this endangered New Year icon in China’s safari parks and zoos.
Who would have thought our teeny tiny Jingle could have grown up so fast. Rescued in Chengdu towards the end of 2009, our "baby" of the family is now weighing in at an incredible 50kgs (give or take a few grams).
Our volunteers are literally everything to the bears (and dogs and cats) at our sanctuaries in Chengdu and Vietnam. Over the years, we’ve had some absolutely fabulous help from passionate people who are willing to give up three months of their lives and step into the great unknown. They work for nothing except for meals and board, and of course lots of “food for the soul” from the resident animals we house.
A message sent to the team Sunday morning with the tragic news that Tiger had lost his fight for life....
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, we received the most beautiful message from Bear Manager Belinda in Vietnam... announcing the news that one of our new arrivals, Italia, had given birth to a little male cub. As Belinda explains:
Our Senior Education Officer in Chengdu, Jacky Yuan, sent such a lovely message to all the staff that I wanted to share it with you. (I know Jacky won’t mind):
Pinch me. Because surely I must be dreaming. This morning's event in the centre of downtown Chengdu will go down in the Animals Asia history as another turning point in our campaign to end bear farming in China.
The internet keeps us in touch with the world of the present and that of the past. Just recently, Mary Alice in the UK sent me the link to a website called Earth Protect, that brought back the memories of smiles and tears for the life of Andrew and so many bears we have loved and lost.
Their eyes shone, their mouths grinned and their cheeks glowed pink with shyness as they walked up on to the stage to collect their prizes. Chosen out of 15,000 children across China, these were the 22 talented prizewinners who had run with the theme "Saving the Moon Bears" and rose magnificently to the challenge.
Jill heads Animals Asia’s team of over 300 enthusiastic staff. She divides her time between mainland China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and travels frequently…READ MORE
Jill Robinson MBE
Jill heads Animals Asia’s team of over 300 enthusiastic staff. She divides her time between mainland China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and travels frequently around the world to give presentations at conferences and speak at fundraising events.
A hands-on leader, Jill is involved in all major decision-making. She works with the vet and bear teams during rescues and health checks and advises closely on construction projects. She visits dog and cat markets and zoos and safari parks throughout China to document the abuse of animals and over the years has made countless visits to hospitals and homes for the elderly with her own and Animals Asia’s animal-therapy dogs.
She writes her own blog, her own speeches and presentations, is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines and a frequent guest on radio and TV shows. She has also co-written a children’s book about moon bears and co-written a number of scientific papers with Animals Asia’s vet teams.
Born in the UK, Jill arrived in Hong Kong in 1985 and spent 12 years working in Asia as a consultant for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Repeatedly faced with scenes of widespread animal cruelty, she decided to introduce the concept of “animal welfare through people welfare” and founded Dr Dog in Hong Kong in 1991 – the first animal-therapy programme in Asia.
Jill founded Animals Asia in 1998 – five years after an encounter with a caged bear on a farm in southern China changed her life forever. Learning that bear bile could be replaced by herbs, she vowed to put an end to bear bile farming. Since then, Animals Asia has rescued over 530 bears in China and Vietnam.
In 2010, both Animals Asia’s China and Vietnam rescue centres were awarded the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence and in 2014 they were accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries – the only sanctuaries in China and Vietnam to have received this honour.
Jill is a Council Member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Herbal Committee and her outstanding contribution to animal welfare has been recognised with a number of awards. In 1995, she won the “Reader’s Digest” Hero for Today award. In 1998, she was made an MBE by Queen Elizabeth of England. In 2008, she was named “Outstanding Earth Champion” in Hong Kong and was appointed World Animal Day Ambassador for Asia. In 2010, she was one of 12 recognised foreigners given the “You Bring Charm to China” award.
Jill received an honorary doctorate in veterinary science from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012, and an honorary law degree from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China in 2014.
She shares her home in Hong Kong with her family of rescued dogs, cats and a tortoise.