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A.P. Chekhov, 1890

Meet the animal lovers with the 'bear necessities' in life

By Olga Gertcyk
17 April 2015

Little orphaned cubs given fresh chance after being rescued and then adopted and nurtured with the help of zoos and vets.

Spring time sees the arrival of little bears into the world but, sadly, not all of them end up being looked after by their mothers and fathers. Picture: Aleksandr Khitrov

Bear cubs left orphaned are being adopted across Siberia by kind-hearted animal lovers. Spring time sees the arrival of little bears into the world but, sadly, not all of them end up being looked after by their mothers and fathers.

But instead of being left to fend for themselves, they are being rescued from the forests and with the help of zoos and vets, they are being nurtured through their early days.

In Vladivostok, three bear cubs have been taken to Sadgorod Zoo this month, the first of which had originally been left outside the Vladivostok Circus in February. Initially it was planned the furry baby would be taken to the Moscow circus led by Ivan Yarovi but problems with the airline meant it could not take the 12-hour flight.

Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs

Mitya, had originally been left outside the Vladivostok Circus in February and now he is in private zoo in the village of Borisovka. Pictures: Aleksandr Khitrov, Ekaterina Zotova

At Sadgorod, he was fed milk porridge, fruit, carrot and honey, and was joined by two other newcomers – month-old twins - who were picked up by employees of the hunting control department in Chuguevsky district.

Zoo owner Alyona Asnovina said: 'They were left with no mother in sight and wouldn't be able to survive on their own. When the twins grow up, perhaps they'll be put in the forest.'

The circus cub, Mitya, has since moved on now to another new home, a private zoo in the village of Borisovka.

Bear orphans


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs

'They were left with no mother in sight and wouldn't be able to survive on their own. When the twins grow up, perhaps they'll be put in the forest.' Pictures: Kristina Oleynik/Komsomolskaya Pravda

The twins are still there though and live in a heated aviary and but when it gets warm enough, they’ll be put in an open summer cage. They like to be petted and climb on their owners' laps although, like children, when they get bored they start fighting each other.

One of the twins is named Borya, but the second hasn’t yet got his name yet. As soon as he does the Himalayan cubs will start wearing coloured bracelets. Experts claim this allows them to learn their names. 

Alyona already has experience in raising a bear, having already worked with Marta who can dance and waltz, just 18 months after being brought to her zoo. Marta has grown up now, but Alyona sometimes visits her and treats the bear with ice-cream.

Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs

Masha has flourished and now three-months-old, she has a new life at an animal sanctuary in Moscow. Pictures: Vkontakte, Transaero

Meanwhile Bolsherechensky Zoo, in Omsk, has welcomed three bear cubs after they were left orphaned when their mother was killed by a hunter. Named Busya, Musya and Vorchun they are being fed cow’s milk with honey and enjoy playing with furry toys and on a wooden stairway.

Elsewhere in the country, at the end of February two one-month old Himalayan bears, a female later named Masha and her brother, were found by a Khabarovsk family outside their house. It is thought their mother was killed by poachers.

The cubs were first brought to Khabarovsk Zoo where the male cub sadly died.

However Masha has flourished and now three-months-old, she has a new life at an animal sanctuary in Moscow. When it came to moving her from the Far East, Transaero airlines provided a free ticket for Natalya Kovalenko, an employee of Zoozashita-DV (Animal Protection Far East) and allowed her to take Masha in the cabin.

Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs


Orphan bear cubs

A little bear is also looking for a new home in Perm, having been given as a child’s birthday present and then rejected. Pictures: Irina Molokotina

Two cubs found without their mother in sight were taken to a vet in Zelenogorsk, in the Krasnoyarsk Krai region. At first it was thought they were puppies and the vet now hopes to find a permanent home for them.

Finally, a little bear is also looking for a new home in Perm, having been given as a child’s birthday present and then rejected. The four-month-old cub spent a week at home before the owners watched some footage of bears on the Internet and decided to get rid of it.

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