“Wo Ai Yue Xiong!” (We Love Moon Bears!) was the cry from Chinese heartthrob actor Duan Yihong and the school children attending Animals Asia’s Chengdu Sanctuary this week.
“Take action!” they added in unison.
The kids, who were excited enough about meeting the bears, were doubly enthused to meet Duan who had been on a tour to meet the sanctuary’s many characters.
Duan started out meeting with Asia bear who has long suffered a skin condition despite years of medication assorted expert advice. Despite her obvious balding, her condition has stabilised with only minimal irritation and is being managed well and she enjoys pottering around her special care area. Duan was able to gently feed her hypoallergenic biscuits.
Later Duan would meet Tibetan brown bears Benji and PouPouce, pausing by Jasper’s crush cage on the way over to meet the bear himself and taking the opportunity to feed him a few slices of Apple. Later he visited the graveyard where he walked among the graves of our “loved and lost” bears.
Finally he joined the children in the Bear Kitchen to help prepare bear enrichment toys before taking interviews with the media. Giving his time generously he spoke for almost two hours on why people shouldn’t use bear bile and his thoughts on the sanctuary and the bears.
Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson said:
“Duan spoke so positively throughout and really bonded with the bears. His passion for animal welfare and his desire to learn more was obvious. He was literally followed to the sanctuary by his ‘fan club’ so his popularity and influence is clear. It’s wonderful that he is so keen to inform himself and be such a positive role model. Thank you Duan!”