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Illegal bear trade: Bodea sold for $1000


A prominent Ukrainian TV station has exposed how easy bear cubs can be purchased on the black market. For $1,000 (US dollars), Bodia, a five-month old bear cub was sold to “1+1” in an undercover operation. FOUR PAWS, having been asked to assist at the rescue, has successfully transferred little Bodia to the Bear Rescue Centre Nadiya in Berezivska, Zhytomyr.


This investigation exposes the “flourishing” illegal bear trade in Ukraine. Bodia, the little cub, was sold to the journalists without any legal documents. Bodia could have faced the tormenting prospect of becoming a tourist attraction. This would have meant being used for entertainment, or used as bait to train dogs to hunt in the wild.

 

The case of Bodia strongly reminds us of another little bear’s fate whose story has affected people all around the world. Nastia had been brutally snatched by animal traders from the Lutsk zoo, rescued and transferred to the temporary FOUR PAWS Bear Rescue Centre Nadiya in Zhytomyr in November 2012.



© FOUR PAWS | Olena Trofimchuk

The case of Bodia strongly reminds us of another little bear’s fate whose story has affected people all around the world. Nastia had been brutally snatched by animal traders from the Lutsk zoo, rescued and transferred to the temporary FOUR PAWS Bear Rescue Centre Nadiya in Zhytomyr in November 2012.


Again we see the corrupt actions of animal traders in Ukraine”, says Dr. Amir Khalil, veterinarian and Director of Project Development at FOUR PAWS. “In the wild a bear cub stays with its mother for two years. When taken away from her too early, the cub becomes traumatised and suffers from a lack of real socialisation.”



© FOUR PAWS | Olena Trofimchuk

After being contacted by 1+1 for support, the bear experts from FOUR PAWS immediately took action; Bodia was transferred to the Bear Rescue Centre Nadiya in Berezivska village, Zhytomyr (160 km from Kiev) – a safe and proper new home. The FOUR PAWS centre is already home to the rescued cub Nastia. Khalil observes, “Nastia is a healthy one-year-old bear now and her natural instincts grow stronger each day. Bodia may be a suitable companion for her, so we will try to socialise the two little ones soon, once our experts decide it is appropriate.”

The trading of bears to private buyers is illegal in Ukraine. Khalil states, “We urge the Ukraine government to immediately take steps against the animal traders. The time is now to enforce the existing law efficiently and provide the protection for the animals from such cruel treatment. The trade of bear cubs has to stop once and for all.

Since 2011, FOUR PAWS has already rescued five bears in Ukraine that were kept privately and under terrible conditions, but the organisation’s research and rescue initiative will not stop here. According to government estimates, over 80 Ukrainian brown bears remain in poor captive conditions. Just recently FOUR PAWS exposed illegal bear baiting events that were taking place in Ukraine.


Bodea will need a lot of care within the next few months to help him recover from his poor upbringing. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation, or even hold a Teddy Bears Picnic. Thank you!


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