Sooty joins The Wildwood Trusts Bear Appeal ahead of his visit to Margate.
The big celebrity helping the small charity to rescue two bears!
Wildwood Trust, Kent’s unique wildlife park and conservation charity, has been left star-struck after one of Britain’s best-loved celebrities joined their fight to help rescue two brown bears from misery and neglect.
The celebrity in question is none other than Sooty; Britain’s favourite bear! With a magical career spanning over 60 years and a special place in the hearts of children young and old; the cheeky bear is the perfect personality to promote the Trust’s charity appeal.
Wildwood’s Park Manager, Jon May said “To be honest we are stunned to receive such high-profile support. We are just a small charity and Sooty is a genuine British super-star! We are very grateful for his help with the appeal.”
Sooty’s support comes in the shape of a video message in which Sooty, dressed in a Wildwood t-shirt, urges people to support the bear appeal as well as a picture of Sooty meeting Wildwood’s own teddy-bear mascot.
The urgent appeal needs to raise £50,000 to rescue two brown bears from a disused bear breeding centre in Bulgaria and bring them to Wildwood’s woodland wildlife park. This huge project is the largest and most ambitious ever undertaken by the Trust and needs to raise funds for safe transport, a specially designed enclosure at the park, specialist health care and enrichment programmes to allow the bears to lead a safe, happy life at Wildwood.
The bears are currently kept in small, barren concrete pens in an abandoned bear breeding centre called Kormisosh, in Bulgaria. Kormisosh was used to breed bears for the cruel practice of canned hunting; the release of captive-bred bears for trophy hunters to shoot. After bear hunting was outlawed ion 1993 the bears at Kormisosh where abandoned. Today they receive only basic food and care from local volunteers and are in desperate need of a long-term welfare plan as their pens are falling into disrepair and their mental wellbeing is starting to deteriorate.
“To date the appeal has raised just over £18,000 so there is still a long way to go to raise the rest of the funds to rescue the bears. We never imagined we would get a celebrity to help promote our appeal, we are very honoured!” Jess Walters, Wildwood’s fundraising manager.
Sooty is due to appear at the Theatre Royal Margate on Sunday 17th August. For more information click here.
To donate to the Wildwood bear appeal, or for more information please visit: www.wildwoodtrust.org
You can also donate by text: simply text BEAR21 plus an amount between £1 and £10 (e.g. BEAR21 £5) to 70070.
To donate by phone call Wildwood on 01227 712 111.
Supporters of the appeal will be able to follow progress of the bear appeal on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please use the hashtag #savethebrownbears.