International Animal Welfare Organisation FOUR PAWS has rescued three young bear cubs that were being kept illegally in Peja, Kosovo.
First discovered was a young female aged six weeks. The bear was bought by a family at the age of just three weeks and was being illegally kept in their flat.
The family were busted by local police after they posted information up on Facebook detailing how they got the bear, and how it was being kept. The cub was confiscated soon after by the Kosovo Environment Ministry and police officers. However, just days later on 19 March, two more bear cubs were discovered in the same area. As the cubs were the same age as the female cub, it is thought likely that the three are siblings.
FOUR PAWS relocated the three cubs – which they have named Ema, Oska, and Ron – to their bear sanctuary in Prishtina, where they are being cared for. But as bear cubs in the wild spend at least two years with their mother, the condition of the young cubs remains serious. FOUR PAWS bear expert Carsten Hertwig explains that the cubs are stressed, fearful, and very weak. “Ema doesn’t even weigh three kilos,” he describes. “We hope that the rescue was in time and that with our expert care the cubs can pull through and recover.”
The private keeping of brown bears has been illegal in Kosovo since 2010, and FOUR PAWS is calling for the animal dealers who sold the cubs to be found and brought to justice. “There should also be legal action against the family, which bought and kept the bear illegally,” says Hertwig.