Heavy rains cause China Bear Rescue Centre to declare a flood emergency

13 August 2020

Following heavy rain at Animals Asia’s Chengdu sanctuary in China the team at the rescue centre are in action mode to ensure the safety of the rescued animals and sanctuary staff. A dam upstream from the rescue centre has released a torrent of water down the River Pi that the centre is adjacent to, causing the water to rise and come perilously close to buildings on site.

The resident bears were all already in dens and enclosures safe from the threatened flood plain areas however John, the resident macaque, had to be evacuated from his enclosure. The centre’s companion animals were also moved to safety. Meanwhile the bears were blissfully unaware of the emergency outside their bear houses. The bears were kept inside their dens for safety (although with the heavy rains it’s unlikely any would have ventured outside given the choice). The bear carers are ensuring they continue to be fed, medicated and provided with additional enrichment to keep themselves entertained and stimulated.

Bear and Vet Team Director Ryan Sucaet said:

“Over the past few months China has suffered from a lot of flooding, affecting over 50 million people mostly in the south of China. However the storms have made their way north. We are now in central China experiencing the floods. The River Pi is usually a very beautiful river that provides us with a feeling of security and privacy at the sanctuary, but at the moment it’s just filling us with fear. We’ve been following our flood emergency protocols and the team has been working extra hard, and working extra hours to make sure we do everything necessary to ensure safety on site. We’ve lost a few trees in the enclosures to the storm so far. Heavy rain is predicted for the next three days but we’re extremely well prepared for these emergencies.”

As the rains continue the threat of damage to buildings on site remains. The last time the site saw conditions like this was in 2013 when the river bank was severely damaged and extensive repairs were needed.

In addition to ensuring the safety of all the animals on site at the rescue centre the team visited the local companion animal owners to ensure that their animals were kept inside and safe from the storms.

Animals Asia Founder and CEO Jill Robinson commented:

“The team has been so brilliant, quickly reacting to the emergency as it presented itself. Our longstanding flooding protocols and planning are again proving up to the task and everyone is in awe of the team on the ground working in the most extreme of conditions. This year has been challenging for people all over the world for many reasons, but the Chengdu Bear Rescue Centre stands as a beacon of hope, on the front lines of first the pandemic and now these epic floods, proving that the only cure is kindness. And all the while the bears in their care continue to receive the best treatment, no matter what the circumstances.”

The situation is on-going so please follow our updates from the sanctuary on social media.