A disturbing undercover video from Ukraine depicts a screaming baby bear snatched from her mother and brutally forced into a tiny box, while the mother bear cries frantically in her cage.
The cub — Nastia — was sold illegally by the Lutsk zoo in the Volyn province to animal traders, according to the animal welfare charity Four Paws.
It is suspected that Nastia will end up as a tourist attraction, where captive bears live in small cages next to restaurants, hotels or petrol stations and have to perform tricks. Some of the bears are also forced to drink alcohol to entertain tourists.
Please note the video is extremely disturbing:
The Lutsk zoo director reportedly admitted that female bears in the Lutsk zoo give birth every year “so that profits can be made with the offspring”.
Amir Khalil, head of the FOUR PAWS project in Ukraine, says it is illegal for the country’s zoos to sell animals to private buyers, and wants the government to take action.
We urge the Ukrainian government to immediately confiscate the young bear. There’s no time to lose. This mother and child need to be reunited as quickly as possible. We are at the full disposal of the authorities and need to establish a home for both bears, appropriate for the species.
According to Four Paws, more than 80 bears are believed to be living in “horrific captive conditions” in Ukraine.
Video about ‘Project Ukraine’ to rescue abused bears: