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FOUR PAWS saves orphaned bear cub in Poland


Update, 2016/11/05: Finally outside!


Do you remember the story of the motherless bear cub which was found by foresters in the mountains in south-eastern Poland? At the end of April we brought the female bear orphan, who has now been named Cisna, to our cooperation partner Zoo Poznan. Over the past few weeks Cisna has settled in well, so she has already been able to leave the indoor enclosure and make her first steps in the  temporary outdoor enclosure. The permanent, large enclosure will be built in the coming months to strict FOUR PAWS animal welfare criteria, so that Cisna can enjoy a life close to nature. But for now at least the bear cub is able to breathe fresh air again!


Soon we will also post a video about Cisna in her outdoor enclosure, so that you can see how she is doing there. Stay tuned!

© VIER PFOTEN | Zoo Poznań

Update, 2016/24/04: The transport was successful!


The bear cub has finally arrived at Zoo Poznań. The Veterinarians of the Wildlife Station, where she was until now, have brought here safely to her new home. The bear cub needs to rest and adjust to her new surroundings. For the first few days, she will stay in the indoor enclosures until the vets decide that she is ready to be released in a temporary enclosure. In a few months the bear orphan will moved to a larger outdoor enclosure, which is built to strict animal welfare criteria by FOUR PAWS.

© FOUR PAWS | Zoo Poznań

The responsible authority decided that the bear cannot be reintroduced into the wild because there are no facilities/organisations in Poland that specialise in reintroducing bears back into the wild. Wildlife reintroduction requires a lot of experience and know-how. It can’t be done by simply releasing the bear back into the wild, it needs to be released in a special area and monitored additionally by experts and special staff. This cannot be done with the available resources in Poland at the moment. Furthermore, it is very likely that the bear cub has already become far too accustomed to the proximity of humans in the time since she was rescued.

© FOUR PAWS | Christiane Flechtner

Little Puchatka will find a new home in Poznan Zoo.

On 1st April a three-month old brown bear was captured by foresters in the mountains in south-eastern Poland and brought to the local wildlife rescue station. The whereabouts of her mother is unclear, yet it seems the cub was unattended for a long time and now needs proper care and a safe, appropriate home. Animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, together with its cooperation partner Poznan Zoo, have taken the decision to look after the small female bear in the course of their joint brown bear project. 

FOUR PAWS joined the process of saving the cub on the very early stage by establishing connection between Poznan Zoo, the local wildlife rescue station, scientists from Poland, Johanna Painer from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and experienced workers from Bear Sanctuary Prishtina that care for orphans. 

© FOUR PAWS | Christiane Flechtner

Since the reintroduction of the cub back into the wild is not possible, FOUR PAWS and Poznan Zoo came to a decision to accommodate the small bear in the zoo. FOUR PAWS is supporting construction of enclosure and will help to bear costs of cub’s accommodation as well. FOUR PAWS’ bear expert Carsten Hertwig explains: „The temporary 300 m² enclosure will be built together with Poznan Zoo within the next two weeks. It will be equipped with a privacy shield, covering little fellow from the eyes of visitors, so the cub will stay in a stressless, appropriate environment. Later the bear will be relocated to a bigger enclosure appropriate for her long-term accommodation“. 

At the moment the cub which has been named Puchatka (“little bear” in Polish) is being kept in the Rehabilitation Centre for Protected Species in Przemyśl. The bear is located in a wooden house with enough straw to give her opportunities for getting warmth and tactile stimulation from the surrounding. Puchatka is shy and is avoiding people, but visibly calms down when surrounded by particular vets.

The small bear weighs 4,5 kg now but will hopefully gain more weight soon. The feeding schedule drafted by specialists that work for FOUR PAWS foresees often and vast food distributions.

As she is not licked by her mother, the vets are using wet towels for the hygiene causes. Additionally the first blood results will be ready soon. This will enable vets to take a close look at Puchatka’s health condition. 

FOUR PAWS has been seeking improvement in the keeping of brown bears in Poland for years. In 2011 the animal protection organisation saved three animals from catastrophic conditions and brought them to the FOUR PAWS BEARSANCTUARY Müritz, North Germany. In 2013 FOUR PAWS cooperated with Poznan zoo to create a species appropriate home for Wania, Misza and Boris. Just two weeks ago FOUR PAWS helped to transport two more brown bears, Ewka and Gienia, to their large new enclosure in Poznan Zoo. The bear enclosure will be extended by a further 1.5 hectares by autumn, and will then provide sufficient space for Pietka and Wojtusia – the last brown bears in illegal private keeping in Poland, and for Puchatka.