Black bear successfully evacuated from Ukraine to German sanctuary

The ᴏɴɢᴏɪɴɢ ɪɴᴠᴀsɪᴏɴ of Ukraine by Russian ꜰᴏʀᴄᴇs has sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ the world and affected millions of ɪɴɴᴏᴄᴇɴᴛ ʟɪᴠᴇs. Many civilians have had to flee their homes, while others are stuck under heavy fire.

While the toll on human life has been ᴛʀᴀɢɪᴄ and immeasurable, it’s also greatly affected Ukraine’s animals, from pets stranded at the border to zoo animals, who have been sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ by the sounds of ʙᴏᴍʙs overhead.

On March 5, White Rock Shelter requested emergency assistance to evacuate its resident bears, as the area became increasingly ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs. Plans were soon put into action, with the Domazhyr Bear Sanctuary in Western Ukraine offering to house the animals during the ᴄᴏɴꜰʟɪᴄᴛ.

Four Paws, the animal welfare charity behind the sanctuary, says that five adult bears and two cubs arrived safely at the facility after a 24-hour trip. The agency said among those bears was Malvina, a 7-year-old bear who had been living at a private zoo in Eastern Ukraine. Upon Russia’s invasion, Malvina was transported to a White Rock Bear Shelter near Kyiv.

On March 16, the Animal Protection Association of Schleswig-Holstein said that Malvina and several other bears had arrived safely in Germany after leaving Kyiv.

As has often been the case during this crisis, transporting an animal across a ᴡᴀʀ-ᴛᴏʀɴ country wasn’t easy, but they got Malvina out safe and sound and now she is in good hands.

“The bears are healthy and all of them have already woken up from hibernation before they were moved, just like some of the bears here in the sanctuary,” Ihor Nykolyn, director of Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr, tells Treehugger. “The two cubs did not hibernate, which is quite common for ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ bears of young age. We have prepared everything for their arrival and they will receive the care that they need by our experienced team.”

Malvina is now settling in well with her new surroundings. White Rock Bear Shelter was happy to see their old friend made it out safe and sound.

We’re so glad Malvina is safe and sound. Thank you to everyone who helped her finally get to safety.

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