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.
The organisers of the Second China International Animal and Nature Film Festival in Ya’an, Sichuan province, invited our China team to join the event, which recognises local and international filmmakers.
What a night it was. Steve and Sue – our fantastic Hong Kong supporters (and adopters of one of our bears rescued in February, now called Bill) – had generously offered to support our Honey Money Days campaign by sponsoring a night of music and fun in China.
The bear lies helpless on the ground. For the fourth time this month, she’s been drugged with ketamine – an illegal substance in Vietnam used by the farmers to render the bears unconscious and take their bile.
Clucking quietly in the early morning, Assisi was clearly suspicious that “something” was going on. A lifetime of nasty surprises, pain and confinement on the bear farm before he arrived with us in February, ensured that he would still be somewhat cautious with all the new experiences at the sanctuary.