Moon Bear Monday: Hungry Bear Is A Big Character
Happy #moonbearmonday everyone!
Considered a (secret) favorite by many of the staff at the Chengdu sanctuary, Dick bear is always up to something – and that something is usually connected to food.
Dick has smartly made the back of enclosure 6 his "patch" and is always first there. He tears out of the dens when the bell rings and makes a dash to the far corner – grabbing fruit and veggies as he goes. There's a plan behind Dick's dash as fewer bears in this section means more food for him.
His food obsession certainly teeters on the edge of being outright greedy, but having arrived a terribly thin 96.5 kilograms (approximately 212 pounds), Dick can hardly be blamed for being a foodie now.
Dick was previously kept on a Chinese bear bile farm suffering regular painful bile extractions. More than 10,000 bears currently suffer the same fate on farms across China as their bile is prized as an ingredient in traditional medicine.
Animals Asia has rescued over 500 bears from bile farms in both China and Vietnam and remains committed to ending the cruel industry.
Animals Asia Senior Bear Manager Heidi Quine said, "When Dick arrived in 2009 he was emaciated and stereotypic having been subjected to free drip bile extraction. At the time he would occasionally attempt a swipe at his carers, but now he is the gentlest bear. As long as he's got a good supply of food and other bears to wrestle with, he's an angel."
Now that he's one of the biggest bears in House 6, Dick loves to wrestle with the other big guys like Weston Super Bear, Stardust, and Mandela.
When the wrestling has stopped, Dick's mind goes straight back to food and he's even figured out that there is a space in dens 1 and 2 that affords a view of the kitchen. Dick can often be found here in the afternoons checking on the late menu and has once or twice impatiently banged the food flap as if telling the team to hurry up.
But don't be fooled by Dick's macho man act, in reality he's more like the lion in The Wizard of Oz – a big scaredy cat. Heidi has seen Dick cut and run from the first sign of trouble including a little growl from tiny bear Squash.
Heidi said, "It's his timid character that makes him so incredibly lovable – he has a habit of holding his ears back, almost flat against his head which gives him a perpetually worried look. He is absolutely my I-don't-have-a-favorite favorite bear."
Have a great #moonbearmonday everyone!