For brown bears, Frol and Frosia, life meant sitting behind the rusty bars of a dark cage in the Lviv Region, Ukraine. The bears were born here, at a hotel and restaurant in 2018, and intended as entertainment and an attraction for customers. Their barren enclosure offered them no enjoyment, just a concrete floor with no enrichment or joy in their everyday lives; they had never known anything other than the same bars of their enclosures all their lives!
When FOUR PAWS first visited the site in 2019, it triggered months of negotiations ahead for their rescue. As the hotel/restaurant finally closed its doors for good, we were given the green light, and beautiful Frol & Frosia were able to be rescued in October 2020. It was the start of a new life at our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr!
Their journey to their new homes went very well, and in just a 2.5 hour trip the bears were welcomed at the sanctuary. As the bears are young, the vet checks showed that there were no serious health issues for either bear. However, both bears showed some minor injuries on the soles of their paws from standing and walking on the wet concrete floor of their cage, but these injuries will soon heal as the bears spend time on natural ground!
Update December 2020
Now, after about a month since their arrival at the sanctuary, we are happy to say that both bears are doing really good. They are very curious and enjoy exploring their new natural environment. Every day, Frol and Frosia are learning something new and their caretakers are always there to monitor them closely until they adapt completely to their new life. So far, we can already tell that Frol is the energetic one, who loves playing with branches and little trees, while Frosia is more relaxed and enjoys the long naps. They both have a good appetite and they love fish and apples while carrots less so.
Update March 2021
For the first time in their lives, bears Frol and Frosia went into hibernation! Both the bears remained quite active until the cold days in early January when they began their long sleep. At the sanctuary, the bears had to option to go into the bear house or an outside den, and the bears both chose to go into the more natural outdoor den. The team supported the bears in their first hibernation and provided them with a lot of extra straw. They were already prepared with fat reserved before the end of the year and were in great condition to begin their sleep! Both the bears remained inside the den until around mid-March, where Frol first left their cosy den, slowly followed by Frosia. They've both been getting gradually more active, and indulging in delicious apples and carrots and both appear very ready for spring activities!
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The bears are now settling in at the sanctuary. We will update you on their progress soon!