Nearly 13 years after his rescue, moon bear Quantock passed away at Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre at the end of 2016.
Everyone present on the day of Quantock’s rescue remembers his arrival at the sanctuary (pictured below). Emotions ran high as Quantock’s damaged face peered out from his cage – fur, skin and half his nose missing.
Over long years of unimaginable suffering on a bile farm, Quantock had literally tried to rub himself away on the iron bars.
But following surgery to remove his damaged gall bladder, Quantock began to recover.
His wounds healed, though the skin would never grow back on his face, and he enjoyed more than a decade of friendship alongside fellow survivors Weston Super Bear and Dick.
Animals Asia Vet Emily Drayton said:
“In recent months Quantock started coughing and his abdomen was beginning to swell, signs suggestive of heart disease. A health check confirmed our worst fears. Quantock was in advanced stages of heart failure. His abdomen and chest cavities had filled up with fluid and his condition was beyond recovery. His heart, which had endured so much, had finally given in.”
A post-mortem confirmed dilated heart disease as the cause of death.
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE led tributes to Quantock saying:
“I always felt that Quantock affirmed why and what we do. His tummy was filled, his heart was happy and he found peace and pleasure in life.
“His ongoing lust for food and play so cleverly disguised a medical book of health issues, and once again we are in awe of this brave and stoic species. He loved, and was loved, to the moon and back, and I miss him endlessly now.”
“Quantock was a special bear, in every way. His face was a haunting mark of the bile farm industry. Severely scarred and worn from years of imprisonment, the life-long wounds that Quantock carried on his body were a reminder to us all the reason we are here.
“When he arrived locked inside a tiny cage, his teeth were fractured, his fistula site still open and leaking and his face was worn beyond recovery. It is amazing to think that a bear that had endured so much, would become the bear we all came to love and know.
“He was an iconic bear for his spirit, his endurance, and his love of play. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered. Rest now Quanty and thank you for all the years you gave us.”
Bear Team Supervisor Yang Li said:
“You escaped death and showed us your happy and proud personality.
“Every time I saw the bile extraction site on your abdomen I truly hoped the people who caused this suffering would wake up, realise their wrongdoing and free the other bears suffering daily.”
Assistant Bear Manager Xueliang Shi said:
“I couldn't help thinking about the misery Quantock had been through every time I saw his face. Fortunately, with our good care, he had led a peaceful life here for many years.
“He had his friends and all suffering was behind him. This was the outcome we had longed for. However, his condition gradually worsened and reluctantly we had to wish him goodbye.”
Quantock will be very much missed by his amazing UK-based support group, Moon Bear Rescue. Lee Gibbins and the team have worked tirelessly for Quantock over many years and their dedication has helped improve the lives of a huge number of bears in China.