Work is set to begin repairing flood damage at Animals Asia’s Chengdu sanctuary in China after a huge response from supporters to an appeal launched just over one week ago.
Funds raised from the “Bricks for Bears” campaign will also go towards fortifying flood defences alongside the adjacent River Pi to lessen risk from future extreme weather and safeguard both staff and animals. It follows a recent week-long storm which was the worst in the region for 50 years.
With the target set at 4,000 virtual bricks in a week, the figure was met in the early hours of Friday July 19th, meaning sanctuary employees heard the good news as they arrived at work later that day.
Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson said:
“The storms were a time of huge stress and concern for the staff who despite the pressures kept up their continued care for all the rescued bears. Against a backdrop of daily heavy rain and the fear that at any time the river bank could burst - that took real bravery. The team were truly incredible.
“Now thanks to our wonderful supporters we can keep both bears and staff safe and Animals Asia can remain focussed on our work to end bear bile farming. Once again our supporters are standing shoulder to shoulder with us and helping us overcome the challenges we face. We are eternally grateful.”
Work will start almost immediately with short term measures aimed at seeing out the rest of the wet season. Then, later this year when the wet season is over, larger scale work will start to reinforce the riverbank.
“Having been evacuated during the worst of the weather when we felt that their enclosure near the river was at risk, the brown bears are today back out in the sunshine - happily digging holes and climbing trees.
“The weather will continue to be changeable for the weeks to come but the simple pleasures of the bears are a reminder of just what a special place this sanctuary is. Incredibly the majority of the bears happily snoozed in their enclosures throughout the worst of what we faced. We must continue to ensure that the bears can rehabilitate and live a life without stress. That’s what the generosity of our supporters has safeguarded.”