Pat yourselves on the back our amazing UK team because you deserve every accolade going! The roadshow was a fun-filled, fund-raising, emotional roller-coaster from start to finish and we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. So fabulous to meet up again with old friends and supporters and to gain new advocates for programmes that we were proud to be able to speak about in person to audiences across the country.
I’m so sad to have to bring you the news that Bossham, who was among the 28 moon bears rescued on 31 March, has died. This brings to 13 the total number of bears from that group that have succumbed to ailments caused by their appalling treatment on the farms. Bossham was a brave and beautiful bear with a glorious temperament despite his disabilities; he was so much loved by us all.
And some more good news from China. Suki Deng, our Dr Dog coordinator in Chengdu and Rainbow recently took some of our lovely canine doctors and their volunteer owners to visit more than 40 primary school children made homeless by the Sichuan earthquake.
Losing Rupert has been particularly sad for the Chengdu team – but of course life doesn’t stop going on, and this past couple of weeks has been busy in both China and Vietnam.
Christie and I are now nearing the end of our UK Roadshow. It’s been exhausting, but wonderful and I’ll update you about it soon.
I’ve just arrived in Swindon, England with Christie Yang, our China Relations Director, and we’re starting our UK Roadshow here tonight. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be giving back-to-back presentations to update our wonderful British supporters on the latest China bear rescue and earthquake relief efforts – so I hope you understand if I don’t have much time for blogging.
I’m so sorry to bring you the news that another of our latest batch of rescued bears has died – one more bear that just couldn’t rise above the torture and succumbed. Since he arrived, Plug has featured in almost every vet report as being a worrisome bear and the team has been battling so hard to bring him through. We always felt that even though the remaining bears of the original 28 were getting better, they were by no means out of the woods yet.
The plight of the bears on the farms remains unclear, though our General Manager/Government Liaison Toby Zhang has tried every effort to obtain information. We have also offered help through the Sichuan Forestry. The officials were grateful, but insisted that the farms are under control now, and didn’t need our help. Taking matters into his own hands this past weekend, Toby paid an unofficial visit to two farms in Dujiangyan.
Watermelon’s turn on the surgery table today. This sweet and rather dopey bear has broken and won everyone’s heart from when he first arrived. Although his mobility has improved, it’s pretty certain now that he is blind - but my, it has to be said, he is a truly magnificent boy.
It’s always a nail-biting time to see one of our new bears laid out on the surgery table. Our vet team busily buzz around preparing for surgery and re-checking on problems picked up on during the previous emergency health-check from when the bears first arrived at the end of March.