The sight of those wretched dogs trying to crawl away from the people bludgeoning them over the head was beyond words. More heartbreaking still was the scene where a dog was surrounded by men with poles and began to wag his tail in welcome - before screaming in agony as the poles and rods came down upon his body. Howling in terror, he tried to raise himself on already broken limbs as the blows came thick and fast and sent him crashing once more to the ground. Blood gathered in pools around his head before he was picked up by one of his back legs and dragged away. The pile of dead dogs grew - and people in the video laughed – satisfied with a job which had so cruelly stilled the beating hearts of our best friends.
9.17am, Tuesday 26 May: No less than three vets are concentrating on Assisi’s surgery – including our friend Dr John Wu from Guangzhou (wearing purple), just coincidentally on site to see our bears, but happy to scrub in.
In something almost impossible to describe, all of us at the Chengdu bear sanctuary have just been witness to an incredible art form dating back 3,000 years.
It was hard not to cry meeting Deng Yu Rui for the first time. His father had died in the earthquake last May, and his mother had tragically lost three of her limbs, but Deng's face beamed as he met his new four-legged best friends.
Our staff around the world are nothing short of incredible, tirelessly working behind the scenes and injecting professionalism and integrity into the heart of our campaigns.
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.