A rescue team from animal welfare organisation FOURÂ PAWS rescued an abused brown bear in Luhansk (Ukraine)Â yesterday from a life of misery. The bear will be transferred today to the bearÂ rehabilitation centre Synevyr. In Synevyr he will live a free and happier lifeÂ according the best animal welfare practises.
The three year old bear Potap was bought from a circus, and for the last two yearsÂ has lived in squalid conditions on the premises of a dog breeding and private sportsÂ club in Luhansk. He lived a miserable existence in a tiny eight square metre cageÂ with concrete floor. Potap is extremely malnourished and has an open wound on hisÂ neck, as a result of a leather collar that was too small for his neck.
Many dogs live on the sports club property, which are being bred and trained forÂ hunting. Potap was used as a training tool for the dogs â€“ so that when the dogs huntÂ they are not afraid of bears in the wild.
In a joint rescue mission the FOUR PAWS team, employees of the bear rehabilitationÂ centre Synevyr and the Ukrainian authorities, Potap was confiscated yesterday. PotapÂ was checked by veterinarians on site. He was weak but able to undertake the 30 hourÂ journey in a mobile vet clinic to the bear rehabilitation centre Synevyr.
According to information obtained by FOUR PAWS, there are more than 40 brown bearsÂ living in very poor captive conditions across Ukraine. “Most of the bears are livingÂ in small cages next to restaurants, hotels, filling stations or bars”, says Dr. AmirÂ Khalil, FOUR PAWS Director Project Development.”Together with the UkrainianÂ authorities we will continue our fight against the cruel treatment of the bears.” OnÂ 3 February 2012 FOUR PAWS and the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and NaturalÂ Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy signed an agreement for the rescue of and care for theÂ privately owned brownÂ bears.