The rain poured down, the guests flowed in, and our hearts soared as our beautiful Vietnam bears experienced the simple joy of walking on grass for the first time.
A quick blog today, but one with grateful thanks to another of our unsung heroes on staff. Our Chef Li Damu and his team are always there when the new bears arrive – working in the kitchen late into the night to ensure the rescue team have nourishing hot food at the end of a long and stressful day.
In between goo-gooing at the cubs, I took some time to walk around our new double bear house, which will be the centrepiece of our forthcoming official Phase 2 Opening in Vietnam this month.
I love going to our sanctuary in Vietnam. These days I spend much of my time at our China sanctuary, which is well-established, mature and heaving with happy, bouncing bears – but Vietnam is glorious too.
Remember Richter, the terrified retriever we found crouching and abandoned in a filthy cage in a pet shop just days after the Sichuan earthquake last May?
Harriet Tung is in the news again -- and thanks to Harriet, so too are our bears! When Hong Kong's "Prestige" magazine featured our celebrity supporter in its magazine, much of the article was devoted to Animals Asia and the rescue.
As our gorgeous Snoopy explores her new world of sight, please let me say a huge thank you of behalf of the whole team (and of course, Snoopy) for all your messages of support. Snoops was especially chuffed with her “Get Well Soon” cards ;-)
The sadness we all felt that Snoopy wasn’t progressing as well as we’d hoped rippled through the sanctuary. Despite the advice to “be patient” from ophthalmologists Claudia and David of the Animal Health Trust in the UK who had so generously come over and operated on Snoopy and our other blind and partially sighted bears, I think we were all feeling a little down.
When one of our volunteer vet nurses, the lovely Anne Letham-White, returned to her native New Zealand, she took with her much more than her amazing memories of her time with us in Chengdu. I asked Anne if she would write down her story of Xiao Hua (Litle Flower) so I could share it with you. So here, in Anne’s own words
While I was in Vietnam recently with our gorgeous bears (and team!) in the beautiful Tam Dao sanctuary just outside Hanoi, our amazing celebrity supporter Karen Mok was in Chengdu with our bears, dogs and cats!