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Three bear cubs seized in Kosovo

2014-03-20

FOUR PAWS takes over illegally-held cubs

Recently,  the international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has had three bear cubs from Peja (Kosovo) in its care. At first, a young female, only six weeks old, was discovered. She was bought by a family when she was just three weeks old, then kept illegally in the family’s flat. Local police  became aware of the case when the family posted details on Facebook outlining how they acquired and kept the bear. Last Wednesday police officials and the Environment Ministry staff confiscated the female cub. But this was just the beginning, yesterday two more bear cubs were discovered in the same region, they were the same age as the female cub and  are likely to be siblings. A planned health check is set to determine whether this is the case. All three animals were brought to FOUR PAWS BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina. The keepers are taking good care of the animals day and night, they’ve also been named Ema, Oska and Ron.



© FOUR PAWS

“The Environment Ministry and police acted in exactly the right way, by seizing the cubs immediately and informing us”, explains FOUR PAWS bear expert Carsten Hertwig. “We’re calling for the animal dealers who sold little Ema to be found and brought to justice. There should also be legal action against the family, which bought and kept the bear illegally.”

 

Since autumn 2010, the private keeping of brown bears has been banned in Kosovo. In 2013, FOUR PAWS constructed the BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina for Kosovo’s 15 illegally-held restaurant bears. With the help of the Kosovo Environment Ministry, the police and KFOR, the organisation was able to rescue 13 bears and transfer them to the BEAR SANCTUARY. However, two bears were killed by their owner just before their planned rescue, and thrown onto a scrap heap. 

 

Carsten Hertwig is appalled that another case of illegal bear keeping has now come to light. The cubs are very young and snatched away from their mother far too soon, and so their medical condition is very serious. In the wild, a bear cub will spend at least two years with its mother. “The cubs have had some cat milk and a bit of honey”, says Carsten Hertwig. “But they seem very stressed, fearful and extremely weak – Ema doesn’t even weigh three kilos. We hope the rescue was in time, and that with our expert care the cubs can pull through and recover.”


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