Bears are one of the best-loved animals in the world. We all have a favourite teddy bear we adored as a child, and who remains a cherished friend today. We read about them in books; we learn nursery rhymes by heart; we sing songs; and we watch them on TV. Life without them seems unimaginable.

But now, they need our help. 

In the thick, wooded forests of Russia, brown bears face many threats, including logging, conflict with humans, legal and illegal trophy hunting, and legal hunting of other wild animals. Tragically, these issues can lead to terrified mother bears fleeing for their lives, leaving their newborn cubs blind, helpless and alone. Many will perish, but the lucky ones are found just in time and taken to the Born Free-supported Orphan Bear Rescue Centre (OBRC).

OBRC rescues, rehabilitates and prepares brown bear cubs for release back into the wild when they are ready, usually aged eight to 10 months. The cubs often arrive at the small centre in critical condition – emaciated, bitten by dogs or suffering from pneumonia and hypothermia. The first few days are critical and they are given 24-hour care in which, as well as receiving vital veterinary care, they are bottle-fed every two hours and given a massage after every feed. 

To date, the centre has returned more than 250 bears to the wild and this year looked after 18 bears - many of which have already returned to the wild. 

At Born Free, we believe every animal counts. With your support, we will make sure every single bear cub has the best possible chance of survival in the wild. Your generous gift today will help us continue to fund this life-changing work.



You can help the Orphan Bear Rescue Centre continue its vital work rescuing, rehabilitating and preparing brown bear cubs for release back into the wild.

This work involves bottle-feeding, weaning, veterinary care and teaching them the skills they need to survive in the wild, such as foraging. 

For just £3 a month, or £36 for the year, not only will you be helping to fund this invaluable care, you will also receive a gift pack, soft toy and our Adopt magazine twice a year.

Or, why not show a loved one you care by adopting them The Brown Bear Orphans?



Your generous gift today will help fund:

  • Food for the bear cubs
  • Veterinary care
  • Salaries for the small team of bear carers 
  • Maintenance of all buildings, enclosures, transport and project facilities
  • And their return to the wild.

Thank you for your compassion and kindness.




“In 2018, I spent many months at the Born Free-supported Orphan Bear Rescue Centre, in Russia, filming three pairs of bear cub brothers. Thanks to the lovely folks at the centre, the bear cubs had been taken in as helpless orphans and, after receiving expert rehabilitation, were released back to the wild. 

Following the cubs’ journey was fascinating, and really showed me what vital work this centre – the only one of its kind – is doing to protect brown bears. There are a whole range of reasons leading to the bears showing up on their doorstep. The biggest one is logging – legal and illegal – where people working in the forest create a lot of disturbance. 

That’s why I’m supporting Born Free’s Raising Cubs campaign to fund this crucial work. Please help us ensure a future for orphan bear cubs. Thank you.”

Gordon Buchanan MBE, Wildlife Filmmaker and Presenter

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