Orphaned bear cubs win hearts in Montenegro

2017-04-04 20:02
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Podgorica - Two orphaned bear cubs have captured hearts in Montenegro after a farmer rescued them from starving to death in the wild.

The cubs were found last month by March Ilinka Bigovic, who lives in a village perched on the Pusti Lisac mountain about 80km from the capital Podgorica, near the Bosnian border.

"I heard some screams. Persistent, day and night, for two or three days," the 61-year-old said.

Bigovic searched the area with her brother until they almost stumbled over the cubs "separated, on the brink of death, weak," she said.

Often sees bears

"We brought them home, put them at a warm place near the stove and fed them milk and honey".

Montenegro's mountains are home to 50 to 100 brown bears, according to ecologists, while the national hunters' association puts their number at 357.

Bigovic, who breeds goats, is used to close encounters with wild animals - a wolf recently killed a goat just near her house and she often sees bears.

The story of the two orphans has spread like wildfire in the Balkan country, with many people coming to have their photo taken holding the cubs.

But engineer and animal-lover Miljan Milickovic was worried - he realised the cubs were on the way to become irreversibly domesticated and if nothing was done, their future could be only a zoo or a circus.

Milickovic persuaded Bigovic to let him take the two animals as a temporary measure until they can be moved to a specialised facility that can prepare them to return to the wild.

The cubs, now named Masha and Brundo, are living at his family property, about 20km north of Podgorica, where they live in the company of a deer, an emu, a boar and a llama.

Masha and Brundo approach people and other animals without fear, looking for a hug, food or to play.

Bear cubs

"In a bid to save their lives humans ... made their return to the wild more difficult," said Jovana Janjusevic of the Centre for Bird Protection, which is also involved in protecting larger animals.

"After two months with humans, the cubs cannot be rehabilitated and successfully returned to the wild," she said.

Activists are now racing against time to get the permits needed to move the Masha and Brundo to Greece or Romania, which - unlike Montenegro - have centres that specialise in dealing with orphaned bear cubs.

Masha and Brundo would spend between a year and 18 months in a such a centre before returning to their mountains.

Read more on:    montenegro  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Weird things dogs do

Caught your dog doing something... well a little bit odd? Don’t worry, there’s a simple explanation for his behaviour.

 
 

Paws

Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.