I am very happy to be able to report that we have just passed the half way mark to our target for Ronnie aka John’s adoption. We have to date raised £6028.50 for our gorgeous girl, so “only” £5971.50 to go until she will be the first London moon bear :)
The money raised through bear adoption, or naming, supports Animals Asia’s campaign to end the barbaric practice of bear file farming and in this case will help with the conversion of the Nanning bear farm into Animals Asia’s second sanctuary in China from this
Nanning bear farm – Copyright: Animals Asia
to a paradise much like Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park
New double enclosure at Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre – Copyright: Animals Asia
This will take at least 2 years and £3,000,000 but it can and will be done with everyone’s help, big or small.
A huge thank you to all our members who have worked so tirelessly all year to raise those vital funds in their spare time, everyone who has done challenges to raise money and everyone who has bought from our stall and donated so generously. If we have another year like this next year, or even better, we will hopefully reach our target before the due date.
We already have some exciting plans for next year, so watch this space and please come and join us if you can.
If you can’t come to our events but would still like to help us raise funds for Ronnie aka John you could make a donation via our JustGiving page.
Ronnie aka John in her bath tub – Copyright: Animals Asia
We had some very sad news from China last week, which most, if not all of you, will have heard or read already, but I wanted to share my own little tribute to Oliver Bear who passed away on 12 November with his friends at the sanctuary holding his paw.
I had the privilege of meeting this wonderful, forgiving, stoic and life loving bear in October 2011 when I did the Animals Asia China trek. After having been tortured for his bile for the first 30 years of his life he had every right to hate our species but he was so forgiving and just made the most of the freedom and love he found at Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre.
This is a short video of Oliver, taken after our lunch in the canteen. Oliver is just coming out of his den after his lunchtime siesta.
Following his rescue, together with 9 other bears, and his dramatic life saving surgery on the way home to the sanctuary, he inspired a movement as detailed in Animals Asia’s moving tribute to him.
Animals Asia’s Founder and CEO Jill Robinson also posted a very moving tribute to Oliver Bear today, which includes my favourite picture of him, sitting in his den laughing, so happy to be finally free and able to do whatever he wants.
Last year we showed “Cages of Shame”, featuring Oliver and the other bears rescued with him in April 2010, and raised over £4000 to help Animals Asia end bear bile farming. That’s just one of the many ways in which Oliver helped the move towards ending this horrific trade forever.
His spirit lives on and he will continue to inspire people everywhere.
Rest in Peace dearest Oliver Bear but also have fun with all the others you’ll meet xxxxx
Octobear Festival 2014
Our fist Octobear Festival last night at Norman’s Coach and Horses was a great success. We raised about £1200 for our Nanning Bear Fund and everyone had a great time as well. The delicious 3 course vegan or vegetarian meal and wine, as well as the room hire, were provided free of charge by the very generous owner of the pub Alastair Choat, and the team who looked after us all night was just amazing and made the whole evening run very smoothly.
Octobear Festival 2014
Amanda’s presentation about her work as a bear manager in Chengdu and her visit to Nanning was fabulous and gave everyone a great insight into the work on the ground at the sanctuaries. It also showed us how all those kind and generous donations help the bears and how the lives of the Nanning bears have already improved massively despite them still living in their farm cages. They now have constant access to water, nutritious food and medical care and the enrichment they need to keep their intelligent minds active.
A special bonus were pictures and news of our London Bear Ronnie aka John who Amanda met and spoilt rotten when she was in Nanning. This picture of Ronnie aka John was taken on Amanda’s visit and appeared on Animals Asia’s website last week
Ronnie aka John
Last but definitely not least, a big thank you to everyone who donated prizes for our raffle, which raised about £300 of the total.
If you ever find yourself in Soho please make sure to stop at Norman’s Coach and Horses. The food is delicious, all vegetarian or vegan, and the atmosphere great. It’s still a proper pub which hasn’t been modernised and doesn’t have a TV screen in the bar so people actually talk to each other.