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Tarrytown Man to Compete in Torturous Race on Behalf of Beautiful Moon Bears

Kai Madden will participate in a rough Tough Mudder obstacle course in PA on May 12 to raise many thousands toward helping the plight of the Asiatic Brown Bear.

 

A Glossary of the Terms:

Moon Bears: Beautiful brown bear with a crescent shape on its chest, officially known as the Asiatic Brown Bear. The most common bear in China, yet very threatened due to:

Bile Extraction: This vile operation involves caging bears often in something called a “crush cage” too tight to move in, for as much as several decades, inserting a tube to syphon out the bile which is sold as a coveted Chinese medicine for ailments like erectile dysfunction and hangovers. The bile will not cure cancer; in fact it may cause it, at least for the bear. The bears themselves often develop liver cancer because of the constant syphoning. “The fluids from a diseased neglected animal can't be good for anyone, in my mind,” Kai Madden said, which brings us to:

Kai Madden: He has a cool name and a cool mission. This Tarrytown man, by way of Britain, read about the plight of the moon bears many years ago. In recent years, he did some research and decided to channel his distress over this situation. If you haven't seen all the flyers he's posted around the Village, here's where he's channelling:

Tough Mudder: This crazy obstacle race subjects its participants to cruelties only a moon bear (or third-time returning competitor Madden) knows. “I had never run 12 miles in my life before, let alone while getting burned, frozen and electrocuted,” Madden said.

Designed by British Special Forces, these 10-12 mile challenges held around the globe involve tests like swimming through dumpsters of ice water, running through structures of dangling high-voltage wire you can't help but be zapped by, navigating burning hay bales, and other ridiculous feats that sound like the makings of a bad reality show. But Madden isn't doing this for fame or some weird personal kick, he's raising money to save the moon bears through the nonprofit Animals Asia.

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How does one prepare for such a race? Madden said he runs often, but “there's only so much you can do.” He takes cold showers and runs a few miles during his lunch break at work (as a web designer at PepsiCo in Somers). But he'll save the electrocution, the hardest part, for race day.

The race is in Pocono Manor, PA on May 12. He's raised $6,795 currently toward his goal of $10,000. If Madden raises enough money, he could also win an extra $25,000 toward his cause from a Groupon Earth Day Challenge on Crowdrise, the site that is hosting his fundraiser. He's in third place now and it's looking very possible that he could in fact get that bundle of cash on May 15.

His family meanwhile, has threatened to start a foundation that will raise money for him not to do the race. But Madden thinks he will be more effective as a fundraiser doing something rather than nothing. “The money would be great, but raising awareness will be even better,” he said.

In his promotional materials on his website, he used to showcase photos of sad bears in cages to pull at people's heart strings; now he's opted to take a positive approach. See the attached YouTube video and photo of the progress possible: healthy rescued bears.

You can read more about Madden's effort and donate here.


Kai Madden May 09, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Thanks for cheering me on Denise! I'll remember your words when I'm face down in a puddle of mud :-)
Kai Madden May 09, 2012 at 10:33 PM
If anyone would like to contribute to my fundraiser and help me win the Earth Day Challenge to help out these bears, please visit my fundraising page: http://www.crowdrise.com/KaisMoonBearFundraiser2012
glenn upton May 10, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Good on you,thats awesome.I will b flying out this weekend to do my bit.Trekking the Great Wall of China.Finishing up at the Moonbear sanctuary.It will b an amazing experience.Go hard.Glenn
Kai Madden May 11, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Nice one Glenn. All the best with your trek, and say hello to the bears for me. I'd love to hear about your trip when you get back. Just drop me a line: kaimadden@aol.com
susanne coyle May 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Agreed, inspiring :).

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