Things are gradually getting back to normal at the sanctuary, with most of the foreign staff who were evacuated on Tuesday returning this weekend. This is despite the fact that the embassies are still issuing warnings to their citizens and advising them to stay away. Because of this, we are having to issue disclaimers to the returning staff.
You don’t mess around with a gigantic brown bear like Caesar when she’s due a routine health check. I remember only too well her rescue some four years ago when she bounced violently in her rusting cage on the bear farm in Tianjin and I thought she would crash through. Wearing a grotesque, painful full-metal jacket (see bottom photo), which secured a metal box and crude latex catheter that snaked itself into her gall bladder, Caesar was understandably a very unhappy bear.
So sorry to bring you more sad news from Chengdu. We have just lost Papermoon, who has been with us for nearly eight years and was one of the original three bears who started this amazing journey with us all.
I know many of you will be anxious to know how our five sick bears are getting on, so here’s an update from our Senior vet, Heather. And it’s mostly good news!
I took off from Brisbane airport a few minutes ago. Looking down, Australia’s paradise of beaches are slowly unfolding before me, and for the first time in 10 days I have some time to reflect, close my eyes and just breathe. It’s been a crazy, but wonderful, week and a half away, covering six states on our latest whirlwind tour, and now I’m flying back to Hong Kong exhausted, but unable to stop smiling knowing that so many Aussies are 100% behind our work.
I’ve just landed in Barcelona for presentations here in Spain – tired and happy after meeting old and new friends in Germany and Austria. The roadshow there went so wonderfully well thanks to the hard work and slog by our amazing team in Munich – so efficiently aided by our dedicated volunteers and supporters at the various events. Christa, Christine and Chee-Meng worked their socks off to make sure everything ran smoothly – and the week went by in a flash.
Looking back over the past few weeks, it all seems a bit surreal. We’ve waited so long and worked so hard to free more bears and now 11 of them are dead. Some of these poor souls were at deaths door, but others would most probably have lived on for many months in unrelenting agony, so at least we were able to save them from that.
We’ve received a number of queries as to why we can’t release the rescued bears straight away and why we have to keep them in recovery cages. Please let me explain.
I’ve just landed in beautiful Germany and I’m about to start on a whirlwind tour of four German cities, bringing to our supporters here news of our latest rescue. The appalling condition of many of the bears has made us more determined than ever to spread the word about the terrible trade in bile.
This week, I’ll be joining our lovely Christa, Chee-Meng and Christine at the roadshow in Germany – and of course there will be plenty to update our generous and kind-hearted German supporters with. They, like our other loyal supporters around the world, have stayed with us in faith and support since we began this “journey” eight years ago.