SOCIETY
Endangered bear cubs found in Tsageri handed over to Tbilisi Zoo
04 May, 2018
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo, reports The Department of Environmental Supervision. The bear cubs were identified as the brown bears, that are found across much of northern Eurasia and North America. It is one of the largest living terrestrial members of the order Carnivora, rivaled in size only by its closest relative, the polar bear.According to the department, the bear cubs were found at the edge of the forest
by the resident of the village Upper Orbeli, Tsageri Municipality.

“The employees of The Department of Environmental Supervision under Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia handed over the bear cubs found by the local resident to Tbilisi Zoo. The dweller of the village of Upper Orbeli, Tsageri Municipality, called and said that he found two cub bears at the edge of the forest.
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Endangered bear cubs found in Tsageri

The representatives of the Department of Environmental Supervision immediately went to the location and found cute bear cubs (at 2 to 3 months of age) listed as endangered on the red list. The bear cubs did not have any signs of injury.
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Bear cubs were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo

The employees of The Department of Environmental Supervision brought the bear cubs from Tsageri and handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,” reads the statement released by the department.
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The bear cubs did not have any signs of injury

Brown Bears inhabit the forests of Georgia and the species is included in the country’s Red List (Endangered Species List or so-called Red Book).

Brown Bear— carnivore mammal belonging to the Ursidae family. The bear is up to 2,5 meters tall and its body weighs around 480 kilograms. The Brown Bear is widespread in Europe, Asia, North America, where it is known as grizzly bear. The animal primarily inhabits forest areas of Caucasus and Central Asia mountains.
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Bear cubs were found at the edge of the forest in Tsageri Municipality

Although the bear belongs to the carnivore, it differs from other representatives of the carnivora order by consuming mostly plants and very little amount of meat.

Bears usually love to eat fruit, berries, root vegetables, mushrooms, nuts and acorn but also eat insects and honey. Bears give birth to very small cubs, frequently two at a time. Newborn bear cubs weigh around 200-700 grams and resemble rats as they are born close-eyed, toothless and furless. The cubs remain in the den with the mother bear, which feeds them her rich milk that stimulates fast growth. The cubs venture out of the den in spring when they have grown a little up.
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The bear cubs are listed as endangered on the red list

Bears primarily lead solitary lives, however they can gather in groups when searching for food. The cubs remain with the mother bear for two-three years. During this period mother bear mates again, which allows the male bears to spend a part of their time with the cubs as well.

According to Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals” – GSPSA, in Georgia illegal hunt (poaching) is common in respect to bears and other wildlife species that are close to extinction. In addition, bears are frequently captured: as of 2013 information there were up to 50 bears illegally held in captivity in churches-monasteries, restaurants and private territories. Frequently mother bears are killed while cubs are held captive in harsh conditions. Sometimes bear cubs end up being killed in captivity.
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Bears primarily lead solitary lives

Brown bear is listed as an endangered species on the „Red List“ of Georgia making its capture prohibited and punishable by law.

According to paragraph 853 of the Administrative Code of Georgia “killing of wild animals, which species are enlisted in the Red List of Georgia, and are close to extinction, destruction of their eggs, dens and other dwellings, that may cause their death, population decline or disruption of living environment and/or, in specific cases, stipulated by law, hunting of such animals with breach of established limitations/conditions, their sale-purchase without respective license or capture shall lead to fines from 150 to 850 Georgian lari; private items used as weapons during the abovementioned illegal act shall be confiscated along with the obtained animal(s).

Illegal hunting on bears represents a criminal act in Georgia – the fine for damages caused to environment by illegal hunt/killing of one bear stands at 50 thousand Georgian lari.
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Brown bear

The Decree #2 of the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia as of February 2, 2011 provided for “methodology of defining (calculating) damages inflicted to environment”. According to the methodology illegal hunt/killing of one bear in Georgia inflicts 50 thousand Georgian lari’s worth of damages to the environment and the person, who inflicted the damages (killed a bear), by Georgian legislation must be held liable for the caused damage.

According to the Criminal Code of Georgia, hunting on animals that are listed in the „Red List“ of Georgia shall lead to fines or correctional labour of up to 2 years and/or imprisonment of up to 3 years, with termination of work or cancellation of the right to operate for up to 3 years.

Photos courtesy The Department of Environmental Supervision

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