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FOUR PAWS saves orphaned bear cub in Poland

APRIL 20 2016 – On April 1st, a three-month old brown bear was captured by foresters in the mountains of south-eastern Poland and brought to the local wildlife rescue station. The whereabouts of her mother is unclear but it seems the cub was unattended for a long time. FOUR PAWS, the global animal protection organization, together with its partner, the Poznan Zoo, have taken the decision to care for the small female bear.


FOUR PAWS jumped into action as news of the lone bear cub circulated.  The organization immediately connected their representatives of the Poznan Zoo, the local wildlife rescue station, scientists from Poland, Johanna Painer from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and experienced workers from Bear Sanctuary Prishtina: All of which have immense experience with both wild and captive bears.


It was quickly established that reintroduction of the cub back into the wild is sadly not possible. FOUR PAWS and Poznan Zoo came to a decision to accommodate the small bear in the zoo facility. FOUR PAWS is supporting construction of enclosure and will help with the costs of the cub’s accommodation as well. FOUR PAWS’ bear expert, Carsten Hertwig, explained earlier this week, “The temporary 3,229 square foot enclosure will be built together with Poznan Zoo within the next two weeks. It will be equipped with a privacy shield so the cub will stay in a stress-free environment away from facility visitors. Later the bear will be relocated to a bigger enclosure appropriate for her long-term accommodation”.


At the moment the cub which has been named Puchatka (“little bear” in Polish) is being kept in the Rehabilitation Centre for Protected Species in Przemyśl. The bear is located in a wooden house with enough straw to give her opportunities for getting warmth and tactile stimulation from the surrounding. Puchatka is shy and is avoiding people, but visibly calms down when surrounded by particular veterinarians.


Puchatka has undergone a full check-up since her rescue. Since the little cub has not been licked by her mother, the vets are using wet towels to keep the baby clean and hygienic. The small bear weighs about 10 lbs now but will hopefully gain more weight soon. Additionally, the first blood results will be ready soon. This will enable vets to take a close look at Puchatka’s health condition.


FOUR PAWS has been seeking improvement in the keeping of brown bears in Poland for years. In 2011, the animal protection organization saved three bears from catastrophic conditions and brought them to the FOUR PAWS BEARSANCTUARY Müritz in North Germany. In 2013, FOUR PAWS cooperated with Poznan zoo to create a species appropriate home for Wania, Misza and Boris. Just two weeks ago FOUR PAWS helped to transport two more brown bears, Ewka and Gienia, to their large new enclosure in Poznan Zoo. The bear enclosure will be extended by a further 3.7 acres by autumn, and will then provide sufficient space for Pietka and Wojtusia – the last brown bears in illegal private keeping in Poland- and for Puchatka as well.