WATCH: Russian bear cubs can't stay children forever, back to the wild they go

In every family there comes a time when the children have grown up and are ready to live on their own. Children look forward to freedom and parents are excited to see them grow into adulthood.

At the International Fund for Animal Welfare Bear Rescue Center the situation is very similar.

At the beginning of the year, in the winter months we start working with bear cubs with low birth weight. First they must learn to drink bottled milk and eat cereal from a bowl. 

During spring, summer and part of autumn the cubs learn the skills to survive in the forest, to search for food and avoid hazards, including humans.

Now bears reach the required weight and are able to feed themselves and care for themselves, the moment comes when it's time to be released into the forest.

The procedure is not simple.

Cubs are first sedated, to reduce the stress of approaching people and to be moved to the place where they will be released.

During rehabilitation we teach them to be afraid of people, their teeth and claws at this age are already dangerous weapons.

They are also given a yellow ear tag so that, in the future, if something happens to the bear, we will know.

Then the bears are carefully placed in a cage and taken to the place of their release.

The trip takes several hours, including loading the live cargo, by the time we get there the bears are already awake and waiting to be released.

Here is a the moment for which we have all worked so hard.

The cage opens and begins bear cubs second life on the wild.

Here they run into the forest and their future to us now the excitement and hope...

If they knew and were able to thank all IFAW supporters, which gave them a second chance they would do it.  They are now wild animals in their habitat. We thank you for your help in their rescue and return to nature.


For more information about our work rehabilitating Russian bear cubs, visit our project page.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy