#Moonbearmonday: whatever happened to Holly and Wang Cai?

15 December 2014

Holly and Wang Cai playing together at CBRC, 2013 (1)

Super-active moon bear twins Holly and Wang Cai caused a sensation when they arrived as juveniles almost two years ago.

They had been discovered by villagers in mountainous Yibin province who had taken them in after finding them wandering without their mother. If we hadn't been able to rescue them, the fear was they'd have ended up at a bear bile farm.

For months after their rescue in Christmas 2012, their antics filled our website and Facebook pages and then it all went quiet as the pair settled happily into sanctuary life.

Holly and Wang Cai playing together at CBRC, 2013 (2)

So we asked the people who know them best – what happened next?

Assistant Bear Manager Ai Chao Jun, who managed their integration into a "grown up" moon bear enclosure said:

"After spending nearly two years in each others company, we felt the pair were old enough to be integrated with the older bears. Wang Cai quickly became close friends with Baobe and Leon.

Wang Cai, Holly, and Baobe playing with each other at CBRC, 2013

"Holly and Wang Cai still like to play together though, maybe because they grew up together, Holly prefers her brother's company, though does play with Jingle occasionally. Generally the main group of bigger, older bears don't bother Wang Cai and Holly – usually it's the youngsters who are cheeky towards the main group!

"We're all very happy that Wang Cai and Holly are living with a group of older bears as they can teach them life skills – Baobe, Leon, and Jingle are proving to be especially good teachers."

More insights came from Wen Siguang, Team Leader for House 1 who cares for the pair every day and knows them inside out said:

"Wang Cai and Holly were around 20kg when they arrived but now they are over 55kg. They are the fastest bears in the enclosure and they always rush out in front every time the slides are opened, especially Wang Cai.

"They both love climbing trees and do it every day – almost like it's compulsory! Right after foraging they choose a tree they like and once they are up they will stay there for most of the day.

Wang Cai takes a rest on the tree 2

"Sometimes they also do some damage by chewing the branches as if they were chewing sugar cane.

"Wang Cai and Holly, you are damaging the forest! Our poor horticulture team workers – now they'll have to remove these damaged branches!'

"What I like most is that when both of them fancy climbing the same tree, Wang Cai always lets his little sister climb first – what a good brother!

"These two are full of curiosity about the world. Whenever something slightly unusual is happening around the sanctuary, they dash over to see what's going on.

"Today the bears spent the morning indoors because there was maintenance being done in the house. We offered them a fire hose hammock that they hadn't played with before – or maybe just hadn't seen with for a while.

"They absolutely loved it – they wrestled on it, slept on it and just wouldn't let it go till it was crushed by their happy, healthy, heavy bodies."

Holly enjoys banana leaves 2, 2014

By all reports Holly and Wang Cai are confident, healthy, well-adjusted bears who continue to be as care-free, crazy and sometimes downright destructive as ever.

We wouldn't change them for the world. Just bears being bears – and we love them for it.

Have a great #moonbearmonday and a fantastic week everyone.

Wang Cai climbing by Peter Yuen, 2013