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.
Tuesday, 5th of May: A shocked silence as the digital image came into view. Crystal, our elderly bear rescued in October 2000, was lying on the X-ray table, having had images taken of her arthritic hips and spine.
Just recently, Caroline Bullock from Animals in Photos asked if I'd like to run a quick and easy mouth-swab DNA test on Eddie to determine his “roots”. I was intrigued and thought worth giving it a try – particularly as no one knows where Eddie originated from.
Anna and our South Devon Support Group have been just fabulous over the years, raising funds and awareness and even sending little messages to the bears when times are hard. Anna's husband Brian is the now famous Moonie in that neck of the woods and dresses up in the hot and heavy bear costume to the delight of the crowds.
Tuesday, 9am and Kylie is the first bear on the hospital surgery table following Oliver who had his surgery on the floor of the truck on the road. A brown bear with large, strong forelimbs, but weighing in at quite a small 149kg, Kylie is already benefiting from a healthy diet and scarfing down everything offered. Still, she is thin and the only bear says vet Monica whose femoral pulse she can feel in her skeletal back leg.