Now that is a joyful sequel
You’ve helped save three Padding tons
THEY might not eat marmalade sandwiches, but these real- life Paddington bears are back home in ‘deepest, darkest Peru’ – thanks to t he generosity of Mail on Sunday readers.
Your donations have helped rescue three more spectacled bears after the plight of the species was first highlighted by Paddington’s creator Michael Bond in this newspaper two years ago.
Initially, your generosity saved Cholita, who had been mutilated in a circus and then left for a decade in a tiny concrete zoo enclosure. The £30,000 raised helped return her to her natural jungle habitat in Peru’s Taricaya Ecological Reserve.
Now, as Paddington 2 opens in cinemas, we can reveal that the
‘They have a new life after suffering so much’
money has since enabled three more bears to be rescued from captivity by the charity Animal Defenders International (ADI).
Lucho and Sabina were rescued from an illegal zoo where they were kept in small cages soon after Cholita was saved. And earlier this year, Dominga was brought to the sanctuary. She had been taken from the wild by animal traffickers along with her sister, who sadly died.
The critically endangered bears – the same species as Paddington – are solitary creatures and it is unlikely that Cholita, who had been taken from the jungle as an infant, will ever live with the others. But her enclosure is next to that of Lucho and Sabina, who it is hoped will breed during next mating season.
Cholita’s fingers had been crudely cut off to remove her claws and her teeth were broken off, which meant she would never survive in the wild. The stress of captivity also caused most of her hair to fall out.
ADI president Jan Creamer said: ‘It is a joy to see Cholita, Dominga, Lucho and Sabina enjoying their forest homes. Having suffered so much, our real- life Paddingtons have a new lease of life, surrounded by nature and their own kind.’
To find out more or to make a donation, visit ad-international.org.
RESCUED: Sabina, Lucho and Dominga – and Paddington, whose creator Michael Bond inspired your generosity