May 2021- 101 bears home
The story begins
The best laid plans...
Move to plan-B
The longest lockdown
Caring for the bears
January 2020 Covid-19 strikes
Given the green light!
Preparing the bears for the move
Bears moved in phase 1
Bear care on the road
Bears moved in phase 2
The incredible bear and vet team
Bears moved in phase 3
An incredible feat of logistics
The beginning of the rest of their lives
Join us to care for these precious animals

101 bears home

Last updated: 11 Jun 2021

May 2021- 101 bears home

In the largest operation of its kind anywhere in the world, Animals Asia has just moved 101 moon bears from an ex-bear bile farm in Nanning, China, to our bear sanctuary in Chengdu.

This historic event has been eight years in the making. Scroll down to find how it came about and remember to share the 101 bears’ amazing story!

The story begins

Back in 2013 we were contacted by the owner of a bile farm in Nanning. He no longer wanted to farm the bears for their bile and asked Animals Asia for help.

The best laid plans...

Our dream was to transform the farm into a sanctuary. But 18 months later, the rug was pulled from under us when the property was sold to a developer...

Move to plan-B

Eventually it was decided to move the 101 bears to our sanctuary in Chengdu, over 750 miles away.

The longest lockdown

The farm changed hands even more times over the following years, leading to lengthy negotiations that delayed our ability to get the permits we so desperately needed, and the bears being stuck in limbo.

Caring for the bears

A specialist team of vets and bear carers were with the bears every day, monitoring their health and wellbeing, making their limited space as comfortable and stimulating as possible, and providing them with a varied and nutritious diet.

January 2020 Covid-19 strikes

Just as we thought we might be about to begin the move, the transport of any wild animals between provinces was stopped as the world went into pandemic lockdown.

Given the green light!

At last, on April 9, 2021 the news came that with the help of the authorities in Guangxi and Sichuan, we had secured the permits to finally move the 101 bears from Nanning to our sanctuary in Chengdu! We immediately sprang into action.

Preparing the bears for the move

The team on the ground had been gently encouraging the bears to walk into their transport cages voluntarily.

Bears moved in phase 1

Chris, Sparkler, Nala, Freo, Elissa, Serena, Amiga, Mischief, Splash, Jasperina, Kathleen, Dolly, Houdini, Ayla, Bea, Rosie, Mouse, Brownie Elizabeth Grant, Luna, Honey, Sunny, Tranquility Kay, Olive, Moon, Bärack, Wilberforce, Coconut, Christiann, Francis, Lily, Tessy, Woofstock, Otter, Coco.

Bear care on the road

Each bear had their own schedule and enrichment plan for the journey tailored to their personality, temperament, medical needs, and favourite foods.

Bears moved in phase 2

Tony, Lai-Le, Bruce, Quinn, Kibou, Heidi, Romina, Phoenix, Shad, Albert, Burnie, Norman, Schafer, Sydney, Angela, Derek, Pickle Nicol, Martin, Dessie, Ronnie (AKA John), Finty, Bentley, Byng, Pindari, Olivia, teresa, Jeanne, Raffy, Jitesh, Liberty, Pretty, Adithi, Bunny, Sammy, Stan.

The incredible bear and vet team

The bears were accompanied every step of the way to ensure they were safe and comfortable throughout the long journey. The team kept them hydrated and as calm as possible. CCTV was even installed to monitor the most nervous travellers.

Bears moved in phase 3

Jumpy, Alex, Björne, Jakub, Oscar, Apollo, Wai Kee, Smudge, Pompey, Mellow, Zhao Cai (AKA Fred), Charlie, Charlotte Sometimes, Amber, Corky, Shanty, Francesca, Siyna, Hochi, Rosi, Sonnenschein, Hope, Blueberry, BeaRtrice, Gillian, Pinda, Pepsi, Sudler Bear, Little Pearl.

An incredible feat of logistics

The entire mission took place over three phases between 19 April and 27 May 2021. During each phase, over 30 bears were transferred in convoys of trucks, each carrying up to four bears in individual cages. Each phase took around 55 hours, from loading the first bear onto the truck, to arriving at the Animals Asia sanctuary.

The beginning of the rest of their lives

The gates of the Nanning bear farm are closed forever. All 101 bears are home.

Join us to care for these precious animals