Rescuing Orphan Bear Cubs (12 pics)
IFAW is helping to rehabilitate Russian bear cubs orphaned by hunters so they can be released to protected forests. We are also campaigning for a ban on killing hibernating bears in Russia, which leaves hundreds of cubs to die.
During the winter months in Russia, wealthy hunters pay more than US$2,000 each to rouse bears from hibernation and kill them. The hunters’ dogs dig and bark at the den and wake the bear while the hunters wait nearby with rifles poised. When the bear climbs out of the den, the hunters shoot without knowing if it is male or female.
After the adult bear is killed, many cubs are abandoned to die. Some are taken from their dens and given to local villagers to be kept as pets. Others go to street photographers, mobile zoos, and circuses. There is also a demand for bear meat in hunting restaurants.