Five orphan bear cubs progressing at rehabilitation centre

Caretakers at the orphan bear rescue centre have bottle-fed the five bears since they were admitted in January and February.

Five bear cubs who arrived in January and February at the International Fund for Animal Welfare Orphan Bears Rescue Centre (OBRC) in Russia have fared well since being admitted, and they are getting ready for life in the open-air enclosure.

The stories of how they were orphaned are very similar: the mother bears were scared from their dens by tree-logging noise, rescuers heard the whining of the small cubs and saved them from a grim demise.

Mike, the lone male, is now the largest and most developed of the group.The first bear cub arrived from the Tver Region January 14. His eyes opened the same day, indicating an approximate birthday between December 15 and 20. Named Mike, he is now the largest and most developed bear cub of the group.

Mike is the only male this year, and he can be easily distinguished from the other bear cubs by a large white collar, which will disappear in his second year of life.

Cleopa required a lot of care and caused many sleepless nights: three days after arrival she stopped eating and seemed sluggish and weak.The second bear cub was brought from the Kirov Region. It took us two days to drive 3,500 km to pick her up and bring her back on February 6. Estimated to be three weeks old, she weighed 1,400 grams.  Cleopa (diminutive of Cleopatra) required extra care and caused many sleepless nights – three days after arrival she stopped eating and seemed sluggish and weak. After antibiotics treatment, Cleopa’s health improved, but she developed constipation, and it took several days to fix that.

She now has a clean bill of health and plays with the other bear cubs.

On February 10, two more female bear cubs were delivered to OBRC from the Pskov Region, 700 km away from the Center. They were approximately 40 days old and in good health, weighing 2,300 and 2,500 grams. They were given the names Zoya and Zosya.

Masha arrived February 18 from Karelia, more than 1,000 km from OBRC. With eyes and ears open, we estimated her to be approximately 40-45 days old at the time.

She differs from the other bear cubs in appearance, with shorter and lighter-colored fur.

Zoya, sleeping soundly in this picture, was approximately 40 days old but in good health when admitted to the orphan bear rescue centre.At first all bear cubs were bottle-fed 6-8 times a day, gradually diminishing to four times a day. They grew considerably and all tripled in weight.

Stay tuned for updates as the young cubs acclimate to the outdoor enclosure.

--MD

Read about the release of last year’s orphan bears in the blog “More orphan bear cubs released.”

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