Reported by Rica Talay
Instead of cheering in the Lunar New Year, a South Vancouver household is mourning the loss of one of their front porch pets.
On Dec. 31, Bea Chan was devastated to find that one of her lion statues was not sitting opposite its partner, where it had been for 34 years.
“It’s sentimental, it’s part of the family,” Chan said. “If you lose a dog or a cat, it’s that kind of feeling.”
Her daughter Adrienne posted an ad on Craigslist under the name “Lonely Lion” — the feline now sitting solo on the porch. Though it was partly in jest, the Chans nonetheless hoped the lion thief would return the beloved red, 17-inch-tall statue.
“If you spot him or have a lead, please reply! I miss him dearly and I’m worried for his safety,” the Lonely Lion pleads in the ad.
The 33-year-old said she decided to make the post humorous because she “knew the odds of getting it back were really slim anyway.”
Part of Chinese culture
Adrienne grew up with the lion statues. Although the lions were European in origin, the Chans bought them because of their relevance to Chinese culture and even painted them red to represent good luck.
Josephine Chiu-Duke, an associate professor in Asian studies at UBC, said that in the Chinese culture lions bring families good fortune and are a symbol of protection against evil spirits.
Even though the chances of getting the statue back are slim, the Chans are optimistic.
“My mom just wants it back, we’ll forgive you if you just give it back,” Adrienne said.
In the audio below, Bea Chan talks about the loss of her lion.