The Rescue of Byara from Russia
In September 2019, Byara was found by local authorities in a house on the outskirts of Murmansk, Northwest Russia. Byara, a young bear cub at the time had lived in a small wooden house and was fed by a local man. She was fed on bread, water and sometimes milk. She was then rescued and temporarily housed by a local animal shelter in Russia called “Society for the Protection of Homeless Animals “Priyut”.
The rescue centre did study the possibilities of Byara being rehabilitated and released into the wild however they soon realised the chances of a positive return to life in the wild would be very small for the cub as they were unsure of how much time she had spent with humans and at the age of 9 months, this is not favourable for making a bear cub ready for an independent life in the wild. After veterinary inspection it was clear Byara could not be returned to the wild – she weighed approx. 20kg.
At this point the local rescue centre contacted Bears in Mind, they both then worked together to provide Byara with the care she needed and began looking for a permanent home for her. In late 2019, it was then agreed that Natuurhulpcentrum in Belgium (who we have worked closely with in the past) would take Byara from Russia.
Byara was then temporarily housed in Moscow until all legal documents, veterinary checks and tests were complete however due to COVID 19 many labs were closed therefore this took significantly longer. In April 2021 Byara arrived at Natuurhulpcentrum in Belgium after a long 3,000KM journey.
She is already feeling right at home and spent most of her first day playing and exploring her new surroundings! It is our hopes that she will eventually be introduced to Eso, our other female Brown Bear.
We would like to express our thanks to The Society for the Protection of Homeless Animals Priyut, Bears In Mind, Naturhulpcentrum and everyone else who made this rescue possible.
If you are visiting, be sure to pop by our two acre woodland enclosure to see if you can spot Eso or Byara!
Byara in Russia before being rescued back in 2019.