Saturday, 30 October 2010

Another Chance at life...

It has been a very busy time at New Hope, with a number of new arrivals, but throughout the last few months there has been one animal who has been on our minds and hearts. We were alerted to an adult Syrian Brown Bear in one of the zoos who was exhibiting very bad stereotypical behaviour, especially after the loss of his mate. The teams have been in and out of the zoos, assessing his situation and we have even had a number of individuals expressing their concern for this fine bear.

We are pleased to report that this gentleman has finally taken lodging at New Hope. He arrived at New Hope last week and seemed quiet and quite withdrawn. With the usual quick action and support, Vier Pfoten immediately sent out a bear specialist, Stefan Knopfer, who is a vital member of their Bear Park in Austria. Stefan came over to assist with settling our new guest and also to set about building a large outdoor enclosure. Yet again we are inspired by commitment and support of our partners, Vier Pfoten, and would like to express our thanks and appreciation for all that they continue to do.

Over the past few days that this bear has been with us we have noticed that during the day he likes to curl up in his night room, enjoying the privacy which he has now been afforded, and he is active during the night, where he takes a dip in his bath (literally a bath tub which we installed in his enclosure) and hunts for the food which we hide around his enclosure during the day. This aspect is very important as it provides him with essential enrichment. he has especially enjoyed the fish which we put for him in his water bowl and his bath!

Bears are extremely intelligent animals and need a great deal of enrichment in order to keep mentally happy and stable. We regret that this has not been the case in the past for this one bear, who is withdrawn and very depressed. We are hopeful that with the right amount of enrichment, peace and respect, he may recover and live a happier life with us at New Hope.

As we are trying to give him as much space and privacy as possible we are afraid we do not have many pictures. 

Construction of the new enclosure has started and we would appreciate your support through donations in order to provide these animals with the best life possible. For donations please contact the foundation on

Friday, 29 October 2010

A Lucky Save...

Along with young Eddie the bear cub, there was another young cub at risk at the zoo. This young one was a 3-4 month old tiger cub. He was found immobile in his enclosure and everyone said he was 'just asleep'. At closer investigation the vet saw that he was severly dehydrated and in need of immediate medical treatment. After further investigation, the team was told that there were in fact more cubs with this little one, but sadly they passed away. It was a major priority for the team to get this cub to New Hope and start treatment.

With great relief we were able to get him out the same night and when he arrived at New Hope, although he was slightly dazed by his trip, he darted straight out of his crate into the warmth and comfort of piles of straw in his new enclosure. After some initial treatment and careful observation, he even became interested in his neighbours, the two other tiger cubs at New Hope.

It was a difficult few days with the young cub where we watched him closely and monitored his eating patterns and movement. He seemed to be very interested initially in his fresh water and milk, however the food we had given him did not seem so appealing. Anxiously we waited to see if he would eat or if we needed to intervene. Two days after his arrival we were thrilled to see that he had eaten a whole bowl of food and was even starting to play and communicate with his friends!

Although we still watch him closely we are more confident that he is now on the right track!

Lions & Tigers... Now Bears oh my!!

Last week the teams were assembled for another zoo inspection, which they do regularly, in order to ensure the health and safety of the zoo animals, as far as possible. On their routine inspection they came across a sight which will haunt all of us for years to come. In a tiny enclosure, no more than 3m by 3m they found a 9 month old bear cub. He was sitting in his stark enclosure knawing at his own paw. It is known that a bear can actually chew off his own paw through frustration, depression etc and the bear expert on the team was fearful for this little one. After the vet inspection, immediate recommendations were issued that the bear be removed from the zoo in an attempt to save its life.

The letters were issued and signed by the authorities and within a few hours the teams were assembled again for the confiscation and they set off on their rescue mission at 5pm the same evening. A couple of hours passed and we feared the worst until we received a phone call saying that he had been loaded and they were on their way to New Hope.

the truck pulled in to new Hope at 9pm and as the doors of the transport opened we were met with the site of a terrified little brown bear pacing in his crate. It was obvius that the confiscation of this little one would in fact save his life. We settled him quickly in his new enclosure where he immediately set to work exploring, playing and eating anything and everything in site! That night we had to tear ourselves away from him hoping that he would have a good night and we looked forward to the next day of play!

Arriving at New Hope the next morning, we were met with call from little Eddie, which he is now called, as he waited for his playmates, and we set to work installing a paddling pool and some new toys. The pictures say it all...

There is much work to be done with Eddie to ensure that he leaves behind his terrible experience and we are hopeful that he is on the right track. We will keep you updated with pictures and his progress.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The power of the world works in circles...

PAF was extremely fortunate to have Linda Tellington Jones come and visit and give a workshop on the Tellington Touch.  "The power of the world works in circles" Black Elk as told to John Neihardt. This is the basic movement of the Tellington Touch. You make circles holding your fingertips, your fingers, or your hand in various positions using various pressures. These simple circles are an entrance or a doorway into a whole different dimension of your relationship with your animal, explains Linda.

Linda goes on to explain that the cells that form each living being all share the same universal 'intelligence'. Every cell knows how to be a perfect part of a feather, a twig, or a paw. It knows its function in the universe. It is the circular movements you make with your fingers or hands which stimulates these cells making them work to their optimal capacity reminding them of how they should work and allowing them to heal the body. This is true of both animal and human as we witnessed first hand!

During her time here in Jordan Linda gave a workshop where she focused on the TTouch with horses. We saw one of the most challenging horses in the stables respond to Linda's gentle touch as she identified the areas of his body which were giving him pain. She then went on to ride him beautifully again using her method. The look on the horse owners face was one of awe, as he saw his challenging charge respond and work with Linda while he looked relaxed and happy!

Linda also worked on a number of other animals and with each one we witnessed the same communication and bond we had seen develop with the horses. We were even lucky enough to have her sort out some of our own aches and pains!

All round, it was a great success and we cannot even begin to express our thanks to this remarkable human being who not only travelled the world to be here with us and share her method, but donated all the proceeds of the workshop to the Princess Alia Foundation. I for one am convinced of the positive effects of TTouch and you will often catch me practising TTouch with the animals I come in contact with!

For more information on TTouch visit