Three orphaned Serbian bear cubs have been transported to the Bear Orphan Station Harghita in Romania with the assistance of international animal charity Four Paws.
Police found the cubs – five-month-old Tara, History and Sleepy – in May in a village in southern Serbia, where it is assumed their mother was either killed by poachers or chased away.
Until their recent transfer to Romania, the trio of cubs were accommodated transitionally at the Zoo Palić in Serbia.
Four Paws was then called on to assist the bears’ transfer, as there is no dedicated bear rehabilitation centre in Serbia.
Four Paws bear expert, Carsten Hertwig, said he was confident the bears would now be afforded the best chance possible of being reintroduced in to the wild.
“Now the bears can be prepared optimally for their later life in the wild,” he said.
“We are confident they will develop and be able to be released in about two years’ time.”
To minimise contact the bear cubs have with humans, which in turn will increase their chances of living a full and long life in the wild, Harghita is situated in an isolated area of northern Romania.
The bear conservation sanctuary was set up in 2004 and provides a temporary home for 26 bears as they are prepare for their release back into the wild.
The timing of the release depends on the individual bears development, but typically occurs around the age of two years.
To further monitor their progress after their release, the bears are fitted with a tracking transmitter.