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Bear cubs rescued in Bulgaria remain under 24-hour observation


© © FOUR PAWS | Hristo Vladev

Bear cubs rescued in Bulgaria remain under 24-hour observation


Three bear cubs have been rescued from a precarious situation near a village in Southwestern Bulgaria and are now being monitored at a nearby bear sanctuary run by animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS.


The cubs are at a very tender age and were found without their mother by the local Ministry of Environment and Water working together with regional environment and water inspectors and representatives of the FOUR PAWS charity. The three bear cubs were found near the village of Barutin in the Rhodope mountains. 

Due to their young age and fragile state, the bear cubs required urgent accommodation and have now been moved to FOUR PAWS’s bear sanctuary in Belitsa, Bulgaria. Yesterday they were examined by a vet.


According to Dimitar Ivanov, manager of the rescue centre which is jointly run by FOUR PAWS and the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, the three bears are highly stressed due to being prematurely separated from the mother: "They were alone for nearly twenty-four hours, and during that time they hadn’t eaten or absorbed any liquids. Our experience shows that in more than 90% of the cases in which little bears are found in the wild, the mother has been chased or shot by poachers. Taking care of orphaned bears by humans is extremely difficult, but we will nevertheless do our best to save them."


The three cubs are about three months old and they are still suckling. FOUR PAWS specialists have started to supply them with goat's milk, which is closest in composition to bears’ milk. Additionally, vitamins are added to the milk to ensure the cubs are adequately nourished.


Two of the bears are male and one female. The heaviest one is the female bear, which weighs more than 3kg. On the other hand, one of the male bears which weighs less than 2 kg is causing significant concern to the vets at the Belitsa bear sanctuary. The cubs are under 24-hour observation by the team of the park and the expectation is that within two weeks, when their general condition has stabilised and strengthened, the cubs will be transported to a rescue centre in Greece, which specialises in raising orphaned bears and preparing them for life in the wild.


To reduce the stress of the cubs, as well as ensure their successful preparation and adaptation to wildlife, their contact with people will be minimised and they will be raised in a quarantine room which visitors to the sanctuary will be forbidden to access.




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