ANIMAL-loving Leigh Fisher is helping a project to rescue bears from a horrendous overseas practice.
Leigh, from Castle Bromwich, is volunteering at a Chinese sanctuary, run by the Animals Asia Foundation.
During her three-month trip to the Far East, the vet nurse is caring for black bears that have been saved from bile farms.
The former CTC pupil said that she’d been fascinated by the charity’s work since she was a teenager - seeing a special episode of The Really Wild Show.
She trained as a vet nurse, working at the 608 Veterinary Group, in Warwick Road, and qualified in 2009.
But speaking from China this week, she said that her final goal had always been to go out and help at the bear sanctuary.
“The hard work and strife was all worth it,” said the 25-year-old, “the bears are so amazing.
“And they’re so forgiving considering their first contact with men was far from pleasant.
“Many still bear the physical and mental scars but live happy contented lives here at the centre.”
At bile farms, bears can spend 20 years locked in coffin-shaped cages in immense pain.
They’re milked on a daily basis through permanent holes in their abdomen and the substance is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Nicky Vyvyan-Robinson, from Animals Asia, said the work of volunteers like Leigh was hugely important.
If you want to donate to the charity, call 01579 347148 or visit www.animalsasia.org