Lucky families won radio competition to be the first open-day visitors to our China sanctuary since the coronavirus outbreak

15 October 2020


For the first time in eight months, Animals Asia’s bear sanctuary in Chengdu China welcomed its first guests since the outbreak of Covid-19 halted open day visits.

Although not open to the public, our bear sanctuaries in Vietnam and China occasionally open their doors to groups for one-day visits. And last month a group of families visited the Chengdu rescue centre after hearing about it on Sichuan Traffic Radio, one of the most popular stations in the province.

The radio station – with a reach of over 90 million - had invited Animals Asia to record a programme about moon bears. This was a great opportunity to reach a new audience to learn about the status of moon bears in China, and to promote our campaigns.

After the programme aired, the station offered 11 families a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the sanctuary to see first-hand how Animals Asia supports the bears we’ve rescued, and more excitingly, a chance to observe the beautiful moon bears themselves.

An incredible 427 families applied for the chance to visit the rescue centre. The lucky 11 who were selected enjoyed a wonderful day with the Animals Asia staff, learning about the resident bears on a guided tour and watching the recall process, where the bears are encouraged back into their dens from the enclosures to feed. The children enjoyed a bear-themed art session, designing and creating their own moon bear t-shirts to take home and remember the bears by.

The families also helped prepare enrichment snacks for the bears and then watched them forage for the food – a real treat for the bears but probably more so for the observers!

We are very grateful to Sichuan Traffic Radio for the opportunity to talk to their many listeners about our moon bears and the work we do to bring more to sanctuary.

Through programmes such as these and our open days, we hope to educate the next generation on the importance of treating animals with kindness and to inspire them to want and act for change in how we treat our bear companions in the future.