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Zookeepers bare their souls to inform visitors

Updated: 2023-04-14 07:56 ( China Daily )
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Visitors look at Laoma, a sun bear in the Hongshan Forest Zoo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, when he was alive. COURTESY OF HONGSHAN FOREST ZOO

Grieving handlers write touching obituaries for recently deceased animals, Yuan Quan and Jia Zhao report.

A heartfelt obituary remembering Laoma, a deceased sun bear, has made national headlines in China.

Put up earlier this year in the Hongshan Forest Zoo in Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu province, the obituary detailed the last days of the male bear's 33-year life and the interactions between the animal and the keepers at the zoo.

"Since the beginning of winter in 2022, the bear's food intake decreased, and he often slept for entire days. In order to help him survive the winter, the keepers and the vets provided a warm straw nest for him and heated up his favorite vegetable mush," reads the obituary.

Guo Chenxu, the bear's zookeeper, penned the piece. His handwriting was neat and clear, an excellent match with his aspiration to treat animals with care and dignity.

"We still remember when Laoma first entered the outer field of the bear house. It was a beautiful sunny spring. He sat next to the flowers and looked up at the butterflies. The warm wind blew from the city, quietly accompanying Laoma," Guo writes.

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