SLIDESHOW: Bear cubs in Russia get the spa treatment

Baby bear bath time

In the wild, the mother bear constantly cares for her cubs’ hygiene, licking them when they are near her tongue.

But without their mother, orphaned bears can become soiled fast, especially when we start feeding them porridge out of bowls. It’s not easy to switch from the bottle: the hungry bears greedily try to satisfy their appetites, and their paws, chests and snouts usually end up being covered with the porridge.

In order to maintain the hygiene of the bear cubs, which is necessary for good health, we bathe the bear cubs once a week an hour after a feeding

We don’t use soap as it would be nearly impossible to rinse it out of their dense fur. We use warm water with chamomile, beggar-ticks, and herb infusions.

They don’t really appreciate the process, bawling and struggling to escape. We dry them with warm thick towels; their thick fur requires three towels per bear cub.

We put cubs in their play pens with fresh straw with the temperature at 27 degrees Centigrade. Some play, but others fall fast asleep.

--MD

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