He’s gone but this rescued bear will still be seen by thousands every day.
27 September 2016
Former bile farm bear Xie Sheung, whose silhouette became Animals Asia’s logo, has passed away, but his image and memory continues to inspire thousands.
Xie Sheung was rescued from a bile farm nearly 23 years ago. Freed from an abhorrent crush cage little larger than his body (see the picture below), he went on to enjoy over two decades of freedom and peace in Animals Asia’s care.
He passed away at Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre this summer.
Nic Field, Animals Asia Bear and Vet Team Director, China said:
“Saying goodbye never gets any easier. Each one takes a piece of us, but I also believe that each one leaves us with something, their magnificent spirits imprinted on our hearts forever. Never has that been more true than with poor old Xie Sheung. We consider him a founding member of the organisation and he will be fondly remembered every time we look at the Animals Asia logo.”
Xie Sheung’s final days were spent in a specially constructed part of the sanctuary for old and infirm bears known as the Special Care Area.
Animals Asia vet Sheridan Lathe said:
“We are grateful that Xie Sheung spent the final years of his life enjoying the extra attention the Special Care Area is known for. The decision to euthanise him was heart-wrenching but we know it was the right decision to end his suffering. We will miss him dearly, but part of him will always be with us.”
Team Leader Li Ping, who cared for Xie Sheung in his old age, said:
“Xie Sheung was a very charming bear. He would walk about a little bit after foraging, then find a place to sleep and snore loudly afterwards. He wouldn’t notice if you were approaching his den or perimeter fence. He remained a happy-go-lucky bear until the end.”
Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson said:
“A gentle, joyful bear — Xie Sheung and his friends opened the eyes of the world to the horrors of bear bile farming, and demonstrated the most incredible forgiveness of a species so maligned by mankind. That he lived such a long and happy life after being rescued, reaching well over 30 years of age, is testament to the two decades of professionalism and kindness he received.
“More than anything I simply want to thank you, Xie Sheung, for teaching us so much about what a moon bear really is; for your kind and gentle spirit in those early days when we were hopelessly naive about your species; and for your patient forgiveness when we made so many mistakes along the way. You and your brother and sister bears began the dream of the China Bear Rescue — and the dream of ending this barbaric practice. That day is closer because of you, because of the bears we still have, and because of the sleeping giants you join.”
To date, Animals Asia has rescued almost 600 bears from bile farms in China and Vietnam. In China there are still over 10,000 bears caged in bile farms with around 1,200 more in Vietnam.
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