Thank you all so very much for your good wishes and beautiful thoughts for Franzi, which are still coming in. Not surprisingly, so many people were heartbroken that she had passed away, but no one more than her own team of caring bear workers here in Chengdu.
Imagine being born into an empty world, a world with nobody to comfort you, nobody to keep you warm, no hands to cradle you and nobody to provide for your instant needs, just an empty cavernous void.
When celebrity chef Simon Bryant arrived on site at our bear sanctuary in Chengdu, it was smiles all round. Simon is a fabulously popular personality in Australia and this talented chef and committed animal lover was happy to help in any way he could to benefit China’s dogs, cats and bears!
Many of our rescued bears in China and Vietnam are sleeping longer and eating less, telling us that winter's on the way. For the more active youngsters still bouncing around the sanctuary with their friends, I think they might have guessed that some festive goodies may be coming their way soon. If you'd like to make it a special Christmas for them - and for your family and friends - please consider buying your holiday gifts from us this year.
Chu Chu grinned as he always did – that silly beaming smile of his that stretches from ear to ear – and the years rolled back. It was Sunday, 18th October and my first visit in many years to Panyu, southern China, but the bears hadn’t changed one jot.
While some friends and supporters have been visiting us in China and Vietnam, others have been helping us from home and putting their hearts and souls into local fundraisers for our Honey Money Days.
A busy and exciting few weeks in Chengdu with visitors from afar arriving back to back on site. Just last month we welcomed long-standing supporters Denise Kirchen and friends from Luxembourg who have, over the years, adopted no less than 25 bears and sponsored a whole bear house!
This afternoon, as I peel Franzi her last grape, I think back to when I fell in love with her for the first time. It was on the 6th December 2002 when she arrived from the bear farm – and quickly became the bear described as both winning and breaking our hearts.
What a fabulous time we had with our friends from Sweden's Animal Protection Network – Monica, Milla and Ulrika – who bounced off the plane in Hong Kong and straight into a Dr Dog visit organised by Marnie and team at Shatin Hospital.
Our dear friends at Philippine Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) are battling to help families and animals affected by the devastating typhoon and flooding in Manila. This is despite the fact that key members of PAWS were themselves trapped for two days with their rescued animals.