By Jill Robinson of Animals Asia
A big girl at heart, I absolutely love this time of year, and no more so than when it involves the Animals Asia family and our beautiful bears who have been saved from many years of suffering on the abominable bear farms. Our teams in China and Vietnam pulled out all the stops in giving the bears a festive treat of mince pies and tangerines, and even found time to join together for a special rendition of “Jingle Bells” — naturally with the title of “Jingle Bears.”
At our sanctuary in Vietnam, the mince pies were lovingly laid out in the enclosures and thoroughly enjoyed by the bears. Little Jane (pictured here) managed to find and scoff no less than three of them, while others took the longest time in the world before finally realizing that this new type of treat was really quite yummy.
Our 14 newly rescued bears in Vietnam weren’t forgotten either and enjoyed their first ever festive treat after eating nothing more than leftovers or tasteless porridge during so many years on the farm. After they have completed their acclimation phase, these bears will join the others in the main area of the sanctuary where they’ll enjoy fresh water ponds, trees for climbing and sunlight on their fur for the first time in years.
In China, the team not only laid out mince pies and tangerines, but also made paper mache gifts stuffed full of nuts and sweet treats for our special-care bears.
More great photos on the next page.
As he shuffled out on to the grass, elderly Oliver quite quickly found his colorful gift and loved every single bite. Oliver had been held captive in a tiny cage for 30 long years on a farm. This is his second Christmas, where every day is a treat of good food and freedom.
Meanwhile, lovely old “threadbare” Asia, who is just as old, took a while longer to find her treat. Asia is on a special diet for her skin, and her paper mache ball was full of hypoallergic dog food which, luckily, she absolutely loves. Halfway through enjoying her snack, she even gave a big cheesy smile to the cameras as her nose turned blue from the color of the (non-toxic) paint.
Funny old Blue pottered around for a while before finally finding and enjoying his ball — while another bear, Woodley, clambered up high before he eventually reached his very own prize of a mince pie.
Big handsome Delaney loved his tangerines — carefully peeling each one before slurping the juicy fruit inside, and beautiful Beau loved her mince pie so much, that she rolled in it!
Wishing you all a very peaceful New Year.