Inmiddels bent u al een beetje gewend aan mijn zondagse artikelen die ik niet vertaal. Ten eerste is dit zo prachtig emotioneel geschreven dat het vertalen geen recht doet aan de inhoud, Ten tweede heb ik zondags minder tijd maar plaatst altijd wel een artikel
Ou Jun was team leader during Oliver’s rescue - a bear who spent 30 years in a cage. He recalls how the team put their own lives on the line for this incredible bear.
Oliver was rescued five years ago this week.
I remember the moment I stepped into that farm, I heard crying. It was such sad and helpless crying that it shocked me enormously.
We followed the sound of the crying to the dens and I was shocked again. I could see a row of tiny metal cages standing on the floor.
There were faeces and pools of urine on the ground. The whole place stank. The cages were rusty. Some were damaged and tied together with wires.
We looked at them and ten bears in the cages looked back with dull eyes.
A short while later, the vet team started to anaesthetise, then release the bears. Each was health checked ahead of being moved into transport cages.
The problem was with the last bear. There was a post tied to the cage. If we moved it the roof would collapse. It was a dangerous situation and it prompted a great deal of discussion but there was no way we could leave this bear behind.
In the end we found a few more posts and used them to provide additional support to the roof. It took an hour in total to move the cage out from its spot below the collapsing roof.
The bear inside was later named Oliver. After his health check and transfer into a cage, we started to load up and drive back to the Chengdu sanctuary.
We kept checking and checking the bears on the way home.
Halfway home, Oliver suddenly deteriorated badly. It was really severe.
The vet said his life was in danger. We had to perform emergency surgery. The vet team contacted a local hospital right away and they wanted to help.
They provided oxygen and even water and soap for washing our vets’ hands and later kind hospital assistants providing tea would join them.
After over four hours’ surgery, Oliver was saved. It was raining that day, but people were waiting outside the whole time. Not just the rescue team but hospital workers and passers by. With the good news they forgot the coldness and everybody was so excited and so happy.
The vet team saved Oliver’s life. He became famous afterwards but his story would have ended there without the operation. The rest of the journey was smooth and Oliver was recovering all the way home.
We arrived at our rescue centre successfully. It was such a huge relief after all the bears finally settled into the centre.
Ou Jun (pictured above, centre) is still working for Animals Asia. He is now Bear Team Supervisor.
After four years of happy sanctuary life, Oliver died in November 2014. From being a nameless bear being tortured in a cage, his story would inspire thousands to join the campaign.
Oliver’s death made headlines around the world.
R.I.P. Oliver. Ooit zal er een eind komen aan de berengalindustrie. Ik maak dat helaas niet meer mee maar zal er alles aan doen om deze ellende onder de aandacht te brengen