Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Orphaned bear cubs successfully released at Greek sanctuary

Mollie, Georgia and Louisa flown from Tbilisi to Greece in Born Free-supported rescue mission. You can help fund their lifetime care.

Born Free is pleased to announce that Mollie, Georgia and Louisa - the three bear cubs rescued from the terrible floods that devastated Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, last summer - are starting their new lives at a sanctuary in the mountains of Northern Greece.

Following a 24-hour rescue operation (see video above) supported by Born Free and assisted by UK-based dog and cat charity The Mayhew Animal Home, the cubs travelled more than 1,500 miles from Tbilisi to Greece where they were released at the world-renowned Arcturos Environmental Centre and Bear Sanctuary.

Born Free Foundation Co-Founder and Trustee, Virginia McKenna OBE, was overjoyed to learn the three cubs had arrived safely at Arcturos. She said: "This rescue, perhaps more than any other we have undertaken in recent years, demonstrates just how difficult, time-consuming and challenging it is to successfully move animals in desperate need to a life-time care sanctuary. I, along with the millions who have followed their story, am hugely grateful to the handful of dedicated individuals who have, at last, succeeded in giving these orphaned bears a life worth living."

The Saturdays singer Mollie King, who made a very special visit to Arcturos with Born Free last year and launched an emotional appeal to help the three bears, was delighted to hear the cubs had been rescued. She said: “I am so thrilled that the three beautiful bear cubs have been rehomed by Born Free at Arcturos and I was so touched and honoured to hear that one of the dear little bears is now named Mollie! Having travelled to their new home, I know they will be treated with kindness and respect and will have a rich, natural environment to explore and forage and be happy in.”

It fills me with horror to think that so many bears in Europe and Asia are confined in small barred enclosures, persecuted and tormented for the bear bile trade or for performance purposes, or languishing in slum zoos. Please join me with Born Free and support our Bear Me In Mind Appeal. Our hope is with your help we can help bears like Mollie, Georgia and Louisa and give them a chance,” she added.

The bears were flown from Tbilisi on a specially chartered flight. After touching down at Thessaloniki airport in Greece, they were transported by road to Arcturos where they were released into a temporary quarantine facility in which they stayed while their new and permanent woodland home (below) was being prepared.

Bears in the woods
Georgia and Mollie in their new home
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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