Rescued Bear Cub "Ostakh" has New Stepbrother "Gena"

GenaandOstakh In a recent visit to the public prosecutor’s office in the Smolensk region in Russia, one could see a number of items held as evidence involved in various crimes. Amidst all of them, there he was a living orphaned bear cub! On the 27th of May, a police officer on patrol stopped a car and found a bear cub in it!

GenaandOstakh This post was filed by IFAW’s Lena Averianova reporting from Russia.

In a recent visit to the public prosecutor’s office in the Smolensk region in Russia, one could see a number of items held as evidence involved in various crimes. Amidst all of them, there he was a living orphaned bear cub! On the 27th of May, a police officer on patrol stopped a car and found a bear cub in it!

The driver and other passengers in the car claimed that they had found it in the forest not far from the village Arkhipovka and decided to bring it to Moscow’s zoo center. The policemen then made the right decision and seized the bear until all the circumstances were clarified and to temporarily house the bear in the nearby village Petushky with a man who owned an appropriate and safe enclosure.

It took a long time to decide the fate of the small orphan. It’s hard to imagine what it was feeling while he was kept in the enclosure as material evidence.
As soon as the situation leaked out, the International Fund for Animal Welfare took action.

IFAW provided all the necessary papers to the Public prosecutor’s office of Smolensk region to get the right permissions to admit the bear-cub into the IFAW Bear Rescue Center located in the Tver region. Center staff immediately went to retrieve the bear from the village enclosure where he had been kept.

On June 8th, the cub arrived at the center and began rehabilitation. First of all Gena, as he was named, went through the full medical examination, which is compulsory for all the bear cubs arriving at the Center. They are weighed, bathed, their temperature is measured, fur and skin condition assessed – a complete check-up to identify its health and screen for potential wounds or injuries. Fortunately for Gena, antibiotics were not needed. The next step was measuring its height, body length, paw-size and appearance – color and tone of the fur, individual features of the color, etc.

Today, Gena is out of quarantine and has joined little Ostakh, a bear who arrived early January unable to open his eyes or walk and that now can climb trees! The Center officers are sure that the cubs will become friends and will happily grow together and become “true” bears, as with 4 bears that in spring this year were released back to the wild after the full course of rehabilitation. The released bears are all radio-collared which will allow us to learn more about their first year in the forest. According to staff at the center, all the released bears that are currently under observation are healthy and have successfully adapted themselves to the free life.

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For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare's work on bears, please visit ifaw.org.

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