Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Cholita gets manicure and full health check!

Posted: 30 October 2015. Updated: 30 October 2015


Elderly spectacled bear Cholita was stolen from the wild as a baby and taken to the circus where her fingers were brutally cut down to stumps to remove her front claws and her teeth were broken off. The stress of her captivity caused her to lose nearly all of her hair. Her tragic story won the hearts of people all over the world, with Cholita becoming known as “the real-life-Paddington-bear”.

She was taken into ADI’s care and after four-day journey over the Andes and along the Madre de Dios River ended with Cholita stepping back into her native forest again after over 20 years. Cholita now lives in a large habitat built by ADI at Taricaya Reserva Ecologica in the Peruvian Amazon where ADI will fund her care for life.

Once settled in her new home and in much better health, it was time for the ADI veterinary team to do a full medical examination and trim the overgrown claws on her rear feet.

Watch the video of Cholita’s health check and manicure

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Cholita was lured with grapes so that she could be darted with a blowpipe. Once she was asleep, she was hooked up to a constant oxygen supply and heart monitors whilst ADI vets worked quickly to perform blood tests, ultrasound scans, a dental check and full physical examination. Finally, Cholita’s nails were trimmed, buffed and oiled, experiencing the best manicure a bear can have!

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “Everyone who has lived with an elderly animal knows the risks of sedation, so it was wonderful to see her up and about and ready for a hearty breakfast as soon a she woke up. Considering her age and the hard life she has endured our veterinary team are pleased with her condition.”
“Cholita will be more comfortable moving around now. Since arriving at her new home, she has used her pool, stretches up into the trees, lays on her log platform and likes to get into her dry earth hole as well, when she is not napping in her cave.”

Thanks to Cholita there is now a very special place for rescued spectacled bears in Peru. The sanctuary is on the edge of their natural range and habitat. It is hoped that, in the future, it may be possible to rehabilitate and release some of the younger spectacled bears back into the wild.

Jan Creamer, “We hope to have even more exciting news for Cholita, because we are negotiating for the handover of two more spectacled bears called Lucho and Sabina. Lucho was confiscated from a circus like Cholita and Sabina is from the illegal wildlife trade. We have started work on enclosures for them adjoining Cholita’s. It will be the perfect happy ending to Cholita’s story to see and hear other bears again after all these years.”

Long time Animal Defenders International supporter Joanna Lumley OBE launched an emergency fundraising appeal to enable us to rescue the two bears and return them to their natural forest home. Joanna said, “The suffering and abuse Cholita endured was so clear to see. Animal Defenders International has given her a happier life, but now urgently requires our help to rescue two more bears in need. Please donate now to give these bears the storybook ending they deserve.”

UK volunteering organisation Projects Abroad, is helping with construction of Lucho and Sabina’s rainforest habitats whilst ADI supplies the materials, keeping costs down. However, long-term costs of caring for the bears for life including their veterinary needs will be substantial – so please donate to help Cholita and friends. Donate UK £ / Donate US $ / Donate via Paypal and Euros

Created with flickr slideshow.

Watch our video of Cholita’s incredible journey and first steps back in the forest here

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