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Animals - Brown Bears

Save the Russian Brown Bears

Click here for the full thumbnail gallery with more photos

Click here for the full thumbnail gallery with more photos

License one of these photos and help save the brown bears in Russia. If, like me, you are a lover of bears then please read this heartbreaking story below and consider making a donation. If you would like to license one of these photos then your fee will be donated to IFAW's bear rescue centre in Russia. Please contact me for more details
Photo: Blond orphan bear cub; International Fund for Animal Welfare - A better world for animals and people

Honor your mother this Mother's Day by helping orphan bears


Photo: Ostakh, the blond orphan bear cub

Ostakh was the only survivor after his mother and sisters all died as a result of cruel den hunting in Russia. Please help his recovery continue, and help us end den-hunting, by making a mother's day donation for orphan baby bears.

Dear [[First Name]] ,

A mother will do anything for her babies.

This was never more true the day a pregnant Russian brown bear was chased from her den by a gang of relentless hunters.

The frightened mother-to-be frantically took flight, leading the hunters on a wild chase through the woods. The hunters stalked her through the forest until she collapsed. The stress was too much for her, and she prematurely delivered her cubs...and, tragically, was shot dead moments later.

The hunters, perhaps remorseful for orphaning three defenseless cubs, stuffed them in a box and placed them in a taxi bound for IFAW's Bear Rescue center in the Tver Region just outside Moscow. The cubs arrived shivering, hungry, and barely alive.

Slim Chance for Survival

IFAW staff rushed the baby bears inside and wrapped them in warm blankets. A male and two females, they all were extremely undersized, each weighing only about 12 ounces. Their chances of survival were very slim.

The devoted IFAW caregivers became the baby bears' surrogate mothers; hand-feeding them warmed milk and keeping vigil over them throughout that first night.

While two of the cubs drank vigorously, one of the females refused to feed. As the night wore on, her condition worsened, and she died later the next day - a result of internal injuries she suffered during her mother's clash with the hunters. In the days ahead, the other female increasingly lost her appetite, and eventually died from pneumonia.

Now only one remained.

Ostakh the Blonde Bear Cub Fights for his Life

The caregivers at IFAW's Bear Rescue center are the best in Russia, and they were determined that the male cub would survive. They continued feeding him as much as he would eat, and afterwards they'd massage him, and keep him cozy on a special warming pad.

Their hard work paid off as he began to respond well to their 24-hour care. Ostakh, as they've named him, is gaining weight and beginning to crawl around to investigate his new home. If he survives, his blonde hair will eventually turn brown. The Center will continue to provide the special care he needs in hopes that he will one day be strong enough to be released, like so many of IFAW's orphan bear cubs that came before him.

A Reason For Hope

In the past 12 years, the IFAW Bear Rescue center has rescued and released 130 orphaned bear cubs into protected forests. The center is careful to raise the cubs so that they will be able to survive on their own - they learn the basic skills they need like how to forage and fend for themselves.

This groundbreaking work is crucial, but the best way to save orphan bears is to end the cruel practice of den hunting - scaring hibernating bears out of their dens, and then shooting the frightened and confused animals.

Den-hunting kills thousands of bears each year and orphans many thousands more, so IFAW has been campaigning tirelessly to end it. Our lobbying efforts have resulted in bans in some areas, including the region in which Ostakh's mother was killed - sadly, it went into effect just days after she was killed, but we're hopeful that we can continue to secure bans in other regions.

Make a Mother's Day Gift for Orphan Bears

Our efforts to save orphan bears would not be possible without the incredible generosity of our supporters. We rely almost exclusively on the donations of individual donors like you.

If this story has touched you...if you think orphan bears like Ostakh deserve a second chance at life...and if you think IFAW's work to ban den hunting is important...

Then please make a mother's day donation to protect and care for Russia's orphan baby bears.

Thanks, and have a happy Mother's Day,

Fred O'Regan Signature
Fred O'Regan
IFAW President

p.s. IFAW has saved many orphan bear cubs though the years, but there are many more baby bears who freeze to death or die from hunger or sickness. Please honor your mother, and the mother bears in Russia who die protecting their cubs every year, by making a mother's day donation for bears now.

 
Copyright International Fund for Animal Welfare 2009

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Tribute to Steve Irwin.

The news of Steve Irwin's death was shocking and unbelievable. The world has lost a great man and a true gentleman whose passion for all animals has and will continue to inspire children and adults alike. There is only one man in this
world who could describe a giant, fearsome and deadly reptile as "Drop
dead gorgeous." And there was only one Steve Irwin. He will be missed
by us and millions of others, but most of all by his family and close
friends whose lives must seem so empty now without his infectious grin,
zest for adventure, love for all animals and unrivalled enthusiasm for
life. The animals in the afterlife have now got their angel with them.

Steve is looking down on all of us now
saying, "Told ya a croc wouldn't get me!!!"

Steve did so much during his life to help and protect, not only nature's endangered animals, but all of nature's beautiful creatures. Help continue his work. In tribute to his memory, Steve's family have requested that all donations go to Wildlife Warriors, of which Australia Zoo is a major sponsor. You can make your donation at the following website:
http://www.wildlifewarriors.org.au/
http://www.australiazoo.com.au/

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