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
Honor your mother this Mother's Day by helping orphan bears
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
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
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
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...
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.
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The Guardian newspaper
Bradt Travel Guides
Living Abroad Magazine
Cambridge University Press
Slovenia Times Newspaper
Maser Acher Magazine, Israel
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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/