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The chronicles of Novosibirsk

Happy ending for black bear cub craving human contact

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 October 2015

Often bears encroaching towns are shot, but in Dalnegorsk they spared the life of 'too friendly' wild animal.

The cub may have been befriended earlier by poachers, and was perhaps craving human contact. Picture: Dal-TV

The cub had explored a local kindergarten, and a children's playground. It made forays around apartment blocks in the town in Primorsky region in the Russian Far East. On one of its wanders, it fell through the metal grill which covered a ventilation shaft, and found itself stuck in a cellar.

Lately there have been many cases of bears - black and brown - entering towns and cities in Siberia and the Russian Far East in search of food because of shortages of their staple diets in the forests. In this case, the cub may have been befriended earlier by poachers, and was perhaps craving human contact. Local officials say the bear did not pose such a threat to locals that it should be shot. 

Head of the district Igor Sakhuta ordered the animal should be caught not killed and passed to a local zoo or circus. Igor Sakhuta commented: 'The most important thing for me is the safety of residents. If a bear is aggressive and poses a real threat - it will be killed.' But 'this is just a bear cub, (and) we will do everything to comfort it and people too.'

Bear cub in Dalnegorsk


Bear cub in Dalnegorsk


Bear cub in Dalnegorsk


Bear cub in Dalnegorsk


Bear cub in Dalnegorsk

'This is just a bear cub, and we will do everything to comfort it and people too.' Pictures: Dal-TV

WWF-Russia Amur branch strongly objected to the bear cub being sent to a zoo or circus. Spokeswoman Elena Starostina said: 'A circus and a cage in a zoo - this is not the best place for a bear, even a small one. Besides black bears are not actually trainable. The best solution - an opportunity to send him back to the woods, so he finds a place in the cedars and maples.' 

But she acknowledged that in this case the bear may have been caught earlier by poachers and lived with them for some time, raising a question mark of the creature's ability to survive in the wild. 

A solution came in the shape of Shkotovo Safari Park which agreed to take the cub. They plan to feed the bear through the winter, and to assess in spring if it is ready to be released into the wild. 

Dalnegorsk

'The administration of Dalnegorsk is taking all possible measures to ensure people's security, including a shortening of the school day so children return home before dark. Picture: The Siberian Times

Sakhuta said that humans are in part to blame for the bear encroachment. 'Unfortunately, in many respects, people themselves are to blame in such situation,' he said. 'The lack of food supply for bears in the forest is because of human activity.'

He stressed that while this bear was not aggressive, officials had to take precautions. 'The administration of Dalnegorsk is taking all possible measures to ensure people's security, including a shortening of the school day so children return home before dark. At each bear alert, we react immediately.'

Comments (3)

Bravo to the people of Dal. They have set a great example for the rest of the world to follow. Kindness, compassion and intelligence. Way to go.
Mae Swanbeck, Daly City California USA
26/10/2015 03:03
3
0
It is a wise decision.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
23/10/2015 22:11
7
0
well done the cub should do well. but there are some wild people who are more trouble than this little fella!
terence galland, exhall,uk eng
23/10/2015 03:08
7
1
1

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