In times of war and crisis, animals are often the forgotten victims. Bear Bakhmut was one of these poor creatures. Extremely stressed and malnourished, he was found by the military in a private backyard in war-torn Donetsk region. Trapped in his concrete cage and abandoned by his owner he was left to his fate.
The Ukrainian military looked after the poor brown bear, but after several days they couldn't feed him any longer. They reached out to our local partner organisations Wild Animal Rescue (WAR) and UAnimals, who informed FOUR PAWS, asking to take in the bear. Immediately, an urgent rescue mission was set up. On September 8th Bakhmut arrived safely at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. His condition was very poor but already seemed to improve during the transfer.
A new life in safety and freedom
After arriving at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, Bakhmut is now settling in and getting used to his new environment. Our experienced team at the sanctuary is closely monitoring Bakhmut's behaviour and health condition to ensure he can recover from his past and start living a bear-friendly life.
Bakhmut, named after the town where he was found, is a calm bear. His behaviour implies that he is used to being around humans. During his first days he was quite shy, rather observing his surroundings from distance, but soon he got more active and curiously started exploring his new home.
Update: November 2022
Bear Bakhmut is doing well. After being released to a large forest enclosure, he is now enjoying the additional space. He seems to be relaxed and he loves to lie in the bear house from where he can watch the other enclosures. In the future, he might get socialised with other bears. Also, this year, Bakhmut will have the opportunity to hibernate as he will be provided with proper conditions. He has a great appetite and especially enjoys fish!
Private keeping of bears in Ukraine
Since November 2021, the keeping of wild animals, such as bears or big cats, for entertainment purposes is illegal in Ukraine. However, private ownership of wild animals is still allowed, if the conditions are according to minimum standards and owners hold the required documents. FOUR PAWS continues to fight to improve the situation for bears in Ukraine.
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