In emotional and touching scenes at Wildwood Trust yesterday, our two brown bears became the best of friends. In an essential but extremely risky operation, which has been over a year in the making, has resulted in these two wonderful bears coming together for the first time. The moments have been captured and can be seen on photo and video.
This work will continue for years to come and Wildwood's members can now share in that journey as they observe the bears, together in their woodland home. Key to the successful rehabilitation of the bears will be their large 1.5 acre woodland enclosure and the many naturel enrichment features which have been installed such as native fruit trees, dens and bear ‘play equipment’.
The bears will be in their woodland home for visitors to take a peak over the Easter & there are a few places for lucky visitors who can book a more personal introduction to the bears in our special Bear Experiences: more info http://www.wildwoodtrust.org/bearexperience.html . All profits go towards our charitable work.
How old are the bears? What sex are they? Were they born at the breeding centre?
The bears are both male and were born in 1998 at Kormisosh so will be around 16 when they arrive at Wildwood. They have been there all their life, alone, and have never seen the outside of their concrete enclosure.
What state are they in, are they heathy?
They have been fed bland porridge-type food all their lives, nothing else. So while they are surviving and receive enough food for sustenance, they are in poor health as they do not receive the essential vitamins/minerals/variety of food that they need.
They have never been outside their concrete pens. So aside from their physical health, mentally they are suffering too - they receive no enrichment or any form of entertainment at all. For such intelligent, active and inquisitive animals it really is torturous for them.
Who looks after them?
They where fed by 2 elderly locals from the nearby village. Alertis (a charity dedicated to finding new homes for the bears) staff also monitor the bears and try and carry out health checks when they can.
What have wildwood done to help the bears?
The bears have undergone a wide-range of health checks and procedures. They have responded exceptionally well to our long-term care plan to improve their diet and build their physical health. The biggest task has been their slow rehabilitation to teach them how to display their natural behaviour. This has been a huge challenge but we are extremely lucky to have a team of expert advisors, and committed volunteers and staff.