Five years since brave Oliver passed, will you join Oliver's Army?

12 November 2019

Oliver’s Army is a group of committed supporters who pledge to support our work for animals in Asia with a monthly gift. Generous ongoing support through Oliver’s Army is what makes our bear rescues possible, like the recent rescue of Tuan from an intensive pig farm, or Valerie from a Circus School. Together we can end bear bile farming and wild animal performance in Vietnam for good and improve the lives of thousands of animals throughout Asia.

Oliver was rescued from the last bear farm in Shandong Province in China in 2010 where he had spent 30 agonising years being exploited for his bile, a product used in traditional Chinese medicine. He had been strapped so tightly into a ‘full metal jacket’, which looks like a medieval style torture device designed to facilitate bile extraction, that his lungs had compressed. Three decades in a tiny cage left him disfigured and stunted.

Oliver was found broken in Shandong in 2010 (1)

When we found him we could tell he was in a bad way and it looked like he might suffer organ failure before we reached the sanctuary. On his 2,109km journey back to our sanctuary in Chengdu Oliver showed signs of deterioration and in the middle of a 7 hour traffic jam our rescue team had no choice but to perform emergency roadside surgery. This was a terrifying and upsetting experience for all involved. It really did look like he wasn’t going to make it. But thankfully, the surgery was successful and brave Oliver made it home to fight another day. If we hadn’t arrived when we did, he would have died as he lived. Alone and in agony.

Oliver loved to forage at CBRC 1

Following his rescue Oliver lived for four years at the sanctuary which must have felt like heaven on earth compared to the hell of his previous three decades. Oliver’s legacy lives on and we know that Oliver would want his brothers and sisters free from their cages and given the same chance at a new life that he had. 

On this 5th anniversary of the day we lost sweet Oliver we’re asking whether you will join Oliver's Army with a monthly gift? As we prepare to bring the remaining 600 bears on bile farms in Vietnam to sanctuary by 2022, Oliver needs you to stand with him now more than ever. 

Please, light a candle this evening and remember brave Oliver, the bear who lived.