43,070 stuffed marshmallows, 378 happy bears and the rest of the numbers that mattered in 2015

04 December 2015

Maggie enjoys foraging in her enclosure, VBRC

From preparing the healthiest snacks known to bears, fighting for the proper treatment of all of Asia’s animals, and waiting for the funny things bear cub Murphy will do next, Animals Asia has been busy in 2015. Read on to see what we’ve accomplished.

Our bear sanctuaries

  • At our Vietnam sanctuary, 328 hours of anaesthesia were administered to give our bears health checks – that’s 41 working days of vet work
  • In China, bear carers stuffed 43,070 marshmallows with pills – to help our rescued bears manage the conditions that the bile industry left them suffering
  • This year, the Vietnam sanctuary has successfully helped introduce 26 rescued bears to their first-ever bear friends
  • At our Chengdu sanctuary in China, 67 bears had health checks – in Nanning, 50 bears have had health checks

Lesley joins a health check with Animals Asia vets, Nanning (1)

  • The bears in Nanning have had their lives enriched by 123 KONG rubber toys, 123 zoo-grade “Boomer Balls”, 246 log treats and 246 bamboo feeders

Ending bear bile farming

The first cage is clear

  • 118,980 people signed our Save the Halong Bay Bears petition, which prompted the historic Quang Ninh rescues – including British comedian, actor and writer Stephen Fry, iconic US actor Ali MacGraw and Australian singer and actor Olivia Newton-John

British comedian, actor and writer Stephen Fry

  • Our international “Sh!t in the Woods” campaign was backed by bear-sized names – including Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Anthony Kiedis, Matt Lucas, Steve-O, Simon LeBon, Duff McKagan, Moby, Matt Lucas, Ricky Gervais, Alicia Silverstone, Liv Tyler, Ben Elton, Ian Somerhalder and Gillian Anderson.  Sharon and Ozzy alone have over 20 million social media followers 

Our Yulin campaign

  • Hong Kong actress and Animals Asia ambassador Karen Mok posted our open letter to the dog meat traders of Yulin to the over 30 million people who follow her via Chinese social media

  • During the Yulin dog meat festival – our Facebook followers worked so hard to get the message out that we reached one million people in a single week
  • In June, Animals Asia released four in-depth investigative reports about China’s dog meat industry. This series of investigations lasted for four years and exposed a great number of illegal operations inside the dog meat industry. The Weibo (China’s most popular social media platform) post for the first report reached over 84 million people, and had over 12,000 shares and 2,000 comments. The reports were shared by 60 newspapers and magazines in China, and were delivered to more than 30 government departments

Cat and dog programmes

  • There were a total of 144 Professor Paws visits in Hong Kong to help young people learn about animals, while our Doctor Dogs made 189 visits to the elderly, sick and disabled
  • In Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu, 18,839 students made friends with the cuddly canines of the Professor Paws programme – 11,942 special needs children and people in nursing homes were cared for by trained pups of the Doctor Dog programme

Our Nem Thuong campaign

  • 160 Vietnamese media articles supported ending the Nem Thuong pig slaughter in Vietnam

Captive animal programmes

  • Our Animal Welfare Team arranged health checks for 34 elephants at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Vietnam by Willem Schaftenaar of the Rotterdam Zoo
  • In China, our primate management workshop for 22 zoos meant enrichment items were added to 225 cages, making life more tolerable for these caged animals
  • Three elephants who had spent up to five years on a short chain at Hanoi zoo were allowed to roam for the first time since they arrived – thanks to improvements brought to their enclosure by Animals Asia, Change for Animals Foundation and Wild Welfare


  • The first steps outside taken by Murphy – the cub who was rescued by Animals Asia at the age of six weeks – went viral, with the video featured in Time, Discovery and Fox News, receiving over 222,000 views on Facebook and YouTube


  • #MoonBearHero Kai Madden donned a moon bear costume to run 20km through mud, over walls and under barbed wire – raising more than US$5,000
  • Three bearish bear advocates had their chests waxed at Animals Asia UK’s ‘80s Extravaganza – adding £358 to the night’s take of over £4,000 pounds
  • Our German team – covering Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg – reached 3,201,071 people over multiple media channels
  • 53,542 Italians signed Animals Asia's online petitions 
  • Over 20,000 leaflets and 1,000 posters were delivered to local groups and schools in China, supporting over 30 public education activities for animal welfare publicity around the country

The work goes on

  • Over 10,000 bears are still kept in tiny cages in China by the bear bile industry. There are more than 1,200 bears on bile farms in Vietnam
  • At midnight on December 31st, we start again for 2016