#moonbearmonday: Starlight and Dilly

20 January 2014

Happy Moon Bear Monday!

The wonderfully named Starlight stands out in any crowd thanks to the snowy white flash on her nose, and her peculiarly human-like habit of sitting up and leaning back as if in a chair.

Seen here relaxing in her favourite pose, Starlight has a long history of inspiring relationships in our China sanctuary. When she first arrived in 2005, she had her two young daughters in tow, but over time daughters Chi and Ki have grown up and moved out – but not too far. They now live in House 4, just a few doors down from mum in House 6.

She also used to have an especially warm relationship with Dilly, who passed away last year.

After Dilly’s sad passing, Bear Manager Heidi wrote down her memories of their special relationship:

“I first met Starlight and Dilly in November of 2011 and I remember being charmed, watching the girls who had paired up for the winter. More than a friendship it appeared like a maternal-filial bond between the two. Starlight seemed to look after Dilly as if she were her cub. Once at dusk that first winter I was here, Starlight had obviously decided it was too late for Dilly to be outside. I watched her walk out from the dens and straight up to Dilly, grab her firmly but gently by the scruff of the neck, and lead her back to the dens – backwards. Dilly somewhat reluctantly allowed herself to be lead, but took every opportunity to grab mouthfuls of grass and small-privet along the way. Once inside the den, Starlight coaxed Dilly into a basket, climbed on top of her and the girls settled in for the night in a bear-hug as was their winter time ritual.”

When Dilly was laid to rest a photo of Starlight was buried with her.  Together forever.

Happy Moon Bear Monday everyone, have a great week.