Staff safeguarded by reinforced riverbank

15 May 2014

Flood defenses almost complete

With the rainy season almost upon them - staff at our Chengdu Bear Rescue Centre have been given extra peace of mind following the completion of flood defences.

Last year torrential rain meant the adjacent river nearly burst its banks with the risk to staff and bears alike too close for comfort.  The sanctuary was inches away from serious flooding in the worst weather the region had seen in 50 years.

While houses fell along the riverbank the sanctuary remained intact but the riverfront sustained extensive damage making it vulnerable to any future extreme weather.

Faced with a further month of the rainy season, Animals Asia launched the “Bricks for Bears” campaign calling for supporters to buy 4,000 virtual bricks to reinforce the dyke.

We asked for help and our supporters answered emphatically.

With your help we were able to patch up the riverbank to see us through the worst of the wet season. Now flood defences have been repaired and strengthened to secure the future of the sanctuary.

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said: 

“To see the river now it is hard to imagine that it was ever the raging torrent it was last summer when we all feared for the safety of the staff and the very future of the sanctuary.  We saw some incredible heroism from staff – summoning up the strength and resolve to move bears in transport cages to high ground despite the on-going testing conditions. It was our supporters that saved the day and effectively saved the sanctuary. As ever we owe a massive debt of gratitude. This was a very real example of a phrase we say a lot – ‘we can only do what we do thanks to you’.”

The height of the flooding