Now that is a joy­ful se­quel

You’ve helped save three Padding tons

The Mail on Sunday - - Comment - By Saskia Hume

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

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