Rescued from a bile farm in a very sick state - vets feared the worst and a Chinese superstar made a dash to be at her bedside - now fit and healthy Xuan Xuan is a very happy bear.
After months of cold - spring has sprung at our bear sanctuary in Chengdu China, which is home to 118 bears rescued from the bear bile industry.
Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and moon bears - well the moon bears are just loving it.
Not least Xuan Xuan. These pictures were taken by vet Sheridan Lathe who spotted our furry friend soaking up the springtime air.
Xuan Xuan was rescued by Animals Asia in January 2013. That first day vets were able to give her an initial health check after which she was transferred from her farm cage and settled into a recovery cage for the evening while she slept off her anaesthetic.
Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson ran through Xuan Xuan’s (then called Sun Li) list of ailments:
Sun Li was named in the honour of her Chinese superstar namesake who made sure she was at the bear's bedside when vets started to treat her many ailments.
We reported at the time:
“Publicity surrounding the plight of the bear even meant that Sun Li, the actress, was soon en-route to the sanctuary – arriving in time to see the bear enter recovery following a five-hour operation to remove her gall bladder. Her visit caused such a stir in China that Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, saw the sanctuary’s news of her arrival shared over 13,000 times reaching a potential audience of many millions.”
Inside three months Xuan Xuan’s recovery was advanced enough to move her into a den - the largest space she would have encountered for many years. She was the last of the six “New Year Rescue” bears to enter her new home.
But it was her first steps outside (see below) that really caused her stir and saw a beautiful bear emerge out into the sunlight - a bear that had been in so much pain when she arrived.
Today these latest pictures show that Xuan Xuan has put the cruelty behind her as Animals Asia continues to campaign to end all bear bile farming.
Over 10,000 bears still remain in bile farms in China alone.