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