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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Five Aged Bears Moved to Chengdu for a Better Senior Life

October 19, 2009

GUANGZHOU, China, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Following several weeks of careful preparations, the five moon bears who have been living at the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) Panyu Bear Sanctuary (PBS) for the past 13 years set off on a long journey today to their new home at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre (MBRC) in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Moon bears are also known as Asiatic black bears, and are an endangered species. The MBRC was established by Animals Asia Foundation (www.animalsasia.org.cn) in 2000, and currently cares for over 170 bears rescued from China’s bear bile farms.

Since 1993, IFAW and Jill Robinson, who later founded Animals Asia, have drawn attention to the cruelty of bear bile farms. In 1996, with the cooperation of the Guangdong Provincial Forestry Department, IFAW rescued 9 bears from an illegal bear bile farm in which the bears lived under horrible conditions, and effectively closed the operation. This milestone event began China’s black bear rescue and bear anti-cruelty campaign. That same year, the Panyu Bear Sanctuary was established. In 2000, Animals Asia established the MBRC near Chengdu, which to date has rescued 260 bears.

IFAW regional Asia director Grace Gabriel said, “I can say in full confidence that in the past 13 years, we have provided the best possible care for the bears that were previously abused. Our pursuit for their high standard of care has not diminished. As the bears become old, they need specialized geriatric care and a larger and more stable social structure to guarantee their physical and psychological health. The MBRC provides the optimal environment for these bears.”

To ensure the safety of the bears on their 1,000-km road trip, the bear veterinary and husbandry teams have ensured that the bears are in optimal physical condition, and have begun adaptive training for transportation. Jill Robinson, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia, said, “Together, Animals Asia and IFAW have compiled a highly qualified team to care for the bears en route. To help these highly sensitive and intelligent animals to adapt to their new home at our rescue centre, their favorite caretaker will keep the bears company on the road and will stay for them through their adaptation period.”

Jill warmly welcomed these old friends to their new, large family. She said, “Both IFAW and Animals Asia are committed to providing the best care of these formerly abused animals. I am certain that they will enjoy their new home and new friends.”

At 10 am (October 18), the bears will be loaded onto a truck, secure in their roomy cages with plenty of fresh straw and ventilation. They will be adjacent to one other and will be able to see and smell and talk to each other so that they will know that they aren’t going anywhere without their best friends. The truck will be followed by a car carrying the husbandry and veterinary staff. The caravan will travel in the night and early morning to avoid the heat and traffic of the day, and after 48 hours the bears will arrive at Animals Asia’s rescue centre. Along the road, the team will choose appropriate times and places to stop to check on the bears, replenish food and water and cool them as needed.

Grace Gabriel said that although the bears would no longer be at PBS, IFAW’s anti-cruelty campaign would not stop. Both Jill and Grace agreed that IFAW and Animals Asia were both firmly committed to advancing policy and legislation through scientific research and public education to end the bear bile industry and to end all animal abuse in China.

Grace Gabriel emphasizes that “the final choice for wildlife conservation and ending animal cruelty is in the hands of each consumer. To buy is to kill and to support cruelty. So always say ‘NO’ to wildlife products.”

About the International Fund for Animal Welfare

As the world’s leading animal welfare organization, IFAW works from its global headquarters in the United States and 16 country offices to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals by reducing the commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW works both on the ground and in the halls of government to safeguard wild and domestic animals and seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well-being of both animals and people. For more information visit: www.ifaw.org

About Animals Asia Foundation

Animals Asia Foundation is a Hong Kong-headquartered charity, which was founded in 1998 by Jill Robinson MBE. The foundation works with local authorities and communities to end cruelty and foster respect for animals across Asia. Through its flagship campaign, the Moon Bear Rescue, the foundation is saving hundreds of suffering, endangered bears from cruel bile farms and bringing them to its sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. Animals Asia is working with the governments of these two countries towards the goal of ending bear bile farming forever. www.animalsasia.org

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare


Source: newswire