In Russia, bears are hunted during a designated season every year.
The sad reality is that after being hunted, they leave behind countless young babies, who would have no chance of surviving in the wild on their own.
In recognition of this, a family has spent the last thirty years rescuing as many wild baby bears as possible. After going into the wild to save them, they bring the cubs home and bottle feed them, until they have enough strength to survive the winter.
Once they start growing, their rescuers, led by Eduard, put them in a den like enclosure so they can feel safe. This gives them the chance to play and grow in surroundings that are similar to those they would experience in the wild.
The family keeps interaction with the bears to a minimum. The only time they interfere with them is when they enter their enclosure to feed them and when they need to be checked over by the vet.
This is all to ensure that the bears will be as prepared as possible for life outside of the enclosure, when it’s time for them to be released back into the wild.
Once the cubs have completed the first stage of their journey in the enclosure, the family then release them into a 50,000 square meter pen outdoors, which is essentially just a part of the forest. It is fitted with 24hr CCTV so they can monitor the bear cubs throughout the day and night, and intervene if there are any issues.
Within the enclosure, they learn what it truly means to be a bear. They can climb trees, forage for food, and can pick the berries from bushes. All of this is done to prepare the bears for their eventual release back into the wild.
This is usually done after 15-18 months, as the bears have grown to a suitable size, to ensure they will be able to fend for themselves.
In thirty years, this incredible family has rescued and rehabilitated more than 400 bear cubs. They do their work with incredibly limited resources, and don’t receive many donations at all. They have an eco-tourism business that brings in some money, but they mainly do their work with limited outside help.
Their work is for the love of the bears, and they do it with little recognition and external support. What a wholesome and inspiring story.
To support the family and to find out more about the rescue of bear cubs in Russia, visit the website of Forgotten Animals.
Please SHARE this story with your friends and family!