MEET THE BEARS
We’d Like to Introduce you to Some of the Cubs Who Have Been Cared For by the Specialist Team at the Born Free-supported Orphan Bear Rescue Centre (OBRC) This Year.
Found in the Komi Republic, May 2020
Puzha came to OBRC after she was left at a shelter for homeless dogs. The smallest cub of all, Puzha weighed just 4kg when she arrived at the end of May – roughly the same weight of the other cubs back in March.
As a latecomer, it took Puzha several months to integrate with the other cubs, who had already bonded as a group. As she was slightly older when she was orphaned, Puzha had already begun to learn some wild behaviours, which made her stand out from the others.
Although Puzha has been gaining weight and is in good health, she is not yet ready to return to the wild, so will be staying with OBRC until the spring.
Above, Puzha when she arrived at OBRC (L) and now (R). © OBRC
Found in the Novgorod Region, January 2020
Moisey’s mother was disturbed by state inspectors during their patrols, and abandoned her den. He was brought to OBRC at the end of January for specialist care.
Moisey quickly grew into a very big cub! When playing with the others, he always looked comical and slightly clumsy, because although he was behaving like a normal young cub, his large size made him look much older than he actually was! He also developed a very interesting appearance, with very light fur overall, but dark areas around his eyes.
Along with three other orphans, Danya, Dasha and Nelushka, Moisey was one of the first groups to be returned to the wild by OBRC this August. They were released close to where they were found in the Novgorod region.
Above, Moisey when he arrived at OBRC (L, white) and now (R). © OBRC
Found in the Kirov Region, April 2020
Lala was brought to OBRC along with her two brothers Lyoha and Mirnyi. They were the second set of triplets brought to the rescue centre this year, after their mother was frightened away by noisy logging close to their den.
Lala has a strong personality! She was described by the OBRC team as active, boisterous and sometimes argumentative. A natural leader, she not only bossed her brothers around, but all the other cubs too, always trying to get her paws on their food!
Lala thrived at OBRC, and having reached a good weight (29kg), she was released back into the wild along with her brothers, close to where they were found, in the Kirov region, at the beginning of October.
Above, Lala when she arrived at OBRC (L) and now (R). © OBRC
Since January this year, OBRC has rescued and cared for 18 cubs, 17 of which have now been returned to the wild. The majority of these cubs had been abandoned by their mothers after logging and noisy human activity in the forest caused them to flee their dens in fear. But cubs can arrive at OBRC for a number of reasons. Twins Danya and Dasha were found alone in their den by a member of the public, with no sign of their mother; Masha was taken to OBRC by a family whose dog had found the cub in the forest and brought her back to the family home; and Nelushka was found alone, close to a human settlement.
The dedicated team at OBRC work around the clock to provide the specialist care these cubs need, and prepare them for independent living in the forest. To date, the team have returned more than 250 bears to the wild.