When orphaned bear cub Smudge first met Monkey King, it was love at first sight.
The two new friends were of roughly equal size and both looking for companionship. Little wonder then that they bonded over long moon bear wrestles.
Unfortunately, Smudge loved Monkey King just a little too much.
And it wasn’t long before her best friend was looking a little worse for wear and missing a few limbs.
Luckily, help was at hand.
When Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE was in Nanning for another gruelling week of health checks, she was assigned a more unexpected task.
Her mission – which she chose to accept – was to sew Monkey King’s limbs back on and get him battle-ready for more much needed play time with beautiful little Smudge.
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:
“Smudge adores her Monkey King toy, but keeps destroying it with love. So, while the vet team were performing dentals on our last trip, I was given the task of performing surgery and saving the day for our little cub.”
While the odd-job served as light relief during a testing week in Nanning, it represents a very important part of the bears’ new lives.
“Providing ongoing animal welfare needs includes providing all bears with stimulation. Sanctuary enrichment programmes meet these needs by keeping the bears active and stimulated through the ability to express their natural behaviours.
“In the case of young bears like Smudge, this includes wrestling with siblings or friends, something impossible for the only cub on site.”
But thanks to Jill’s “emergency surgery”, Smudge will be able to continue playing with Monkey King - safe in the knowledge that he’ll always come back for more.
NOTE: With great thanks to Animals Asia ambassador and Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol for gifting Jill with those incredible stripy wellies ;)