This Halloween we wanted to sweeten your day by giving you some good news: the bears that are currently in the Utyos rescue and rehabilitation centre are still alive and growing!
Earlier this year, Utyos received eight bear cubs from different mothers, who had been most probably killed by hunters. Half-starved and extremely stressed, the cubs were checked by the centre’s vet and then released into a large, natural enclosure in which they were protected and could grow up with limited human interaction – this drastically ups the chances of success after their future release.
As you know, we raised funds to feed the bears and to make (yes, make!) a large capture cage to leave inside the enclosure. This cage is essential for the cubs’ safety, as it is used when they need to be moved or get veterinary care.
Unfortunately, the fence of their beautiful enclosure started having electrical issues and the centre worried about the cubs not being protected. Adult bears, common in the area, are curious, territorial and strong, and can easily break into an enclosure without electricity, looking for food or, in the worst case scenario, trying to eliminate their perceived competition – the cubs.
Therefore the cubs were moved to a smaller area in which Utyos cares for them as best they can, feeding them, largely thanks to local food donations, and trying out different forms of enrichment by giving them natural objects that they can play with. Working hard, they are now finishing the comfortable den in which the bears can hibernate this winter, which is fast approaching! (see a video of the making of the den)
The babies are safe and as happy as their circumstances allow them to be. With the little money they have, Utyos has to rely on food and money donations from locals and, you guessed it – us!
Our volunteers are working to develop an “Adopt a Bear” program for these cubs, but in the meantime, liking our Facebook page and sharing this post could go a long way: more exposure can bring more donations, and any amount of money is essential for them right now. It will buy more material for their bedding this winter; more vegetables and fruit so they can continue building up the life-saving layer of fat that they’ll use up while they’re hibernating; veterinary care if something (fingers crossed!) happens to them.
And then, when these bare necessities have been covered, the money will start going towards repairing their much-needed enclosure, which really must be ready as soon as possible!
Can you help us spread the word and get these cubs get their Bear Necessities?