We would like to say a very BIG thank you to everyone who has donated and been involved in the Bear Appeal so far. We have been overwhelmed by all your support and genorosity, and are delighted to announce that thanks to you, we have now raised an incredible £45,000! We're now just £5,000 off our £50,000 target. To find out more about the Wildwood Trust Bear Appeal, please click here.
Lots has happened since the last bear update, volunteers and staff have been working tirelessly to raise the funds needed to rescue the bears and to finish their night-time accommodation and quarantine facilities.
Top news from the past couple of weeks:
We obtained approval and licences from Balai (the body that regulates the import/export of animals in the EU), meaning we have permission to quarantine the bears at Wildwood.
The two shipping containers which will form part of the bears night-time accommodation and quarantine facilities arrived, so thank you to Containers 4 Sale UK. Also thank you to Parkers Steel and Batt Cables, who helped with the materials for the enclosure.
We ran two busy volunteer days at Wildwood to help finish the bears night-time enclosure.
The small bear pool has been installed within the quarantine area, so the bears can enjoy a swim and splash around during their 4 month quarantine period.
We made the national press! The Wildwood bear appeal was the centre page spread in the Daily Mirror. We had an incredible response to the article, thank you to all who donated. Missed it? Click here to read the article.
Wildwood Trust will receive 100% of your donation. *Text donations will cost £5 plus your standard network message rate. Always get the bill payers permission.
The containers arriving at Wildwood, which will form part of the bears night-time accommodation and quarantine facilities. They'll also be used as the sleeping dens for the bears.
Our keeper and maintenance teams hard at work. Here you can see them building a platform, so the bears can lie in the sun. Just in front is their pool so they can enjoy a swim and splash around during their 4 month quarantine period.
What happens next?
The night time area of the enclosure should be finished in the next couple of weeks. Our ranger team will then start work on the larger, daytime area of the enclosure.
We are currently working hard to make all the arrangements needed to transport the bears safely to Wildwood from Bulgaria. Moving such large, powerful animals is a complex procedure, and we need to make sure the bears will have as comfortable and stress-free a journey as possible. Watch this space for exciting news soon!
What happens when the bears arrive?
Once the bears arrive at Wildwood they will need to spend around 4 months in our specially built quarantine facilities. During this time they will undergo a complete physical examination and receive all relevant vaccinations. Their quarantine period is important to make sure that they have not brought any diseases from Bulgaria, that could be passed on to our other animals. After this time they will be introduced into the wider, woodland area of the enclosure during the day and kept in the smaller area at night for their safety and comfort.
As the bears have lived in such appalling conditions, they will need time to adjust and settle into their new surroundings. So that the bears can have the best chance of a new life at Wildwood they will be kept off-show to the public during their quarantine period. Depending on their progress, we hope that you will be able to see them sometime around Easter next year.
One of the volunteers helping paint the bears night-time accommdation with rust proof paint. The volunteers also helped move logs and lend a hand to the keeper and maintenance teams.
We had an amazing turn out to both of our bear volunteer days. A huge thank you to all involved over the two days.
Interested in organising your own fundrasing event?
We are so grateful for all the support we have received from people working hard to raise money for the Bear Appeal. Recent fundraisers we would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to include:
Helen Allmond - raised over £2,500 auctioning items on eBay and fundraising with British Airways cabin crew.
John and Brenda Cooper - raised £650 by holding an auction evening.
Emily Lambert - raised £116 selling cakes, loom band bracelets and painted stones.
Paulette Butcher and the Finance Department of KMPT - raised £316 during a coffee and cake sale at work.
Mrs McCallister - raised £200 by holding coffee mornings.
Jacqui Gill - raised £201 by running a fundraising dinner and auction.
Why not organise a fundraising event of your own for the bear appeal? Get your friends and family involved, hold an event at work or at your childs school. For more information on the bear appeal, including fundraising ideas, please contact Jess, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01227 712 111.
Thank you to all who donated when our fundraisers were at ASDA Canterbury and Thanet. We'll be at ASDA Canterbury again on Tuesday 18.11.14, so come and say hello.
... We have raised an incredible amount of money so far… but we don't want to stop yet!
The main daytime enclosure still needs completing and filling with items that will stimulate the bears curious nature.
The bears will need a wide-range of health checks and procedures when they arrive:
- They will need an extensive course of dentistry as many of their teeth will need to be re-built after years of neglect.
- They will need a long-term care plan to improve their diet and to introduce new foods (that they will have never seen before) and to teach them how to eat these new foods.
- They will require a complex rehabilitation programme to help them recover from their traumatic experience in Bulgaria and to encourage them to start to express natural behaviour and act like bears again.
The more money we are able to raise, the more we will be able to provide for the bears once they arrive. Please donate today to give these poor animals the chance of a safe and happy future at Wildwood.