Friday, July 1, 2011

The Panda Research Centre at Chengdu

In the first two pictures, you can see Red Pandas (also found in India) in their forested enclosure. They are rooting for food and can wander around the large enclosure, among the trees and up and down the structures specially made for them. We spotted about five pandas and all were energetically moving about. The enclosure is full of plants, trees, bushes and grass, all left to grow without pruning or order. It is a small re-creation of the 'wild' for these animals. No cages to be seen! How great is that?!

In the pictures below, you can see the famous Giant Panda, found only in China. These are easily the most adorable animals on earth. The ones in the pictures are young adults. These fat little guys are very active early in the morning and then settle down for the main business of the day, that is, serious eating. They eat only bamboo, the leaves and stalks, almost nothing else. When it gets a bit hot, and stomachs are full, they climb up into a nearby tree and go to sleep. Every position they take, qualifies as cute! That tiny speck you can see in the tree in the first picture, has all his four legs hanging down while he takes a snooze.

This enclosure also reflects the wild but most of the trees have a bamboo surround. These animals are expert climbers and could escape after climbing high up into the trees, so most of the trees are rendered unclimbable. But here again there are plenty of wooden structures to swing on , climb up and generally fool about. Full grown adults spend the hot day sleeping in an AC room. Pandas are found in the high mountain areas where they are quite comfortable rooting about in the snow. Here they have to contend with the heat of the city. Very few of them left in the world. About as many as the precious Indian tiger. Makes one wonder, doesn't it, how the human race can allow such absolutely wonderful animals just go extinct.

The Moon Bear Rescue Centre China

What you are looking at are pictures of bears, rescued from Chinese bear bile farms. This trade is easily one of the most cruel and hideous trades on earth. The founder of Animals Asia and the person who was instrumental in building this truly wonderful rescue centre, is Jill Robinson. Over a decade ago, she came across a bear on one of these farms. These animals are kept in body size cages, unable to move in any direction, or even sit or stand up. They are then'milked" through a metal tube which simply pierces their abdomen, for their bile, used in traditional Chinese medicine. Some of them have been kept like this for 30 years, without any succour or release.

Jill went into action and started rescuing these bears. She and her team have rescued hundreds, brought them to the Centre, tried their best to bring them back to some semblance of normal life. Some of the bears are too badly injured to survive, many have cancers, bad teeth and on and on and on. At the rescue Centre, all they get is love, the best treatment possible and a chance at a normal bear's simple happy and comfortable life.

The surroundings are so beautiful and every aspect is calculated to enrich the lives of these sad and broken creatures. The result is, many of them have started enjoying themselves. We watched two of them wrestling. Two plump giants having a whale of a time. Some of these bears are 7 feet tall. It takes most of the bears about one year to come out of the shock and trauma of what they have been through. Then the healing can really start.

There are 10,000 bears at present in China being milked for their bile. Jill is making continuous efforts involving Chinese Govt officials to try and stop this torture of these precious animals.
We were left in awe of all the efforts she had made and the wonderful successes she has enjoyed uptill now working tirelessly to rescue as many bears as she can from these wretched so-called farms.

The Asia For Animals Conference in China

Two of us from the Managing Committee of IDA were able to attend this important Conference which was held in Chengdu, China. We went with a lot of misgivings as there is a lot of knowledge about the pathetic state of many animals in China. But actually going there and meeting some wonderful people, Chinese included, belonging to various animal welfare NGOs made it a simply great experience.
Dogs in China are many times in great danger of being culled or even eaten. Asia for Animals working in China is changing this. All the members work towards making the Chinese public perceive dogs as intelligent, highly beneficial animals. They have created the concept of "Dr.Dog". These specially trained dogs, visit hospitals and have proved to be of absolute value to most of the patients of all ages. This is in China!
We met four of them in the conference hall itself; the most beautiful, healthy happy dogs anyone could come across. They were all overjoyed to meet all of us!
Rescued dogs are used for this purpose and at present there are 250 Dr. Dogs in many cities across China. May their tribe increase!