Bears are not born

 Can a person pick up a bear cub, grow it, and release into the wild prepared for any challenges? The answer is yes. Talented Russian scientists have to a full life in the wild more than a hundred clumsy.

  • In mid-spring three-month babies transferred out of the house into the cage in the forest (the cubs in a cage feeds Sergei Pazhetnov).  Author: Sergey Pazhetnov, Michael Samohin / IFAW
  • In mid-spring three-month babies transferred out of the house into the cage in the forest (the cubs in a cage feeds Sergei Pazhetnov). Author: Sergey Pazhetnov, Michael Samohin / IFAW

In the village Bubonitsy over the past 20 years have grown up and taken back to nature more than a hundred bears.

In 2010, a bear cub found near the town of Ostashkov. He weighed just over 300 grams, although usually bears newborns weigh a pound. The baby was taken to the biological station in the village Bubonitsy, where there lived a few orphaned bear cubs of the year. New, according to tradition, was named by place of birth — Ostakhov — and began to fight for his life.

As with other bears, breeding and fattening Pazhetnovy Ostakhov milk, then transferred to the porridge. But it became clear that the hind legs of the baby bad move. Pazhetnovy not give up. Ostakhov were separately added to the porridge ground and hardened in the oven bones and egg shells — used Calcium therapy.

Until April, all the cubs were kept in a special house, and then taken out to the spacious open-air cage in the forest. Now, people have tried to reduce the contact with the cubs to a minimum — every day brought them porridge, silently left her and went. And gradually reduce the amount of feed given to the — to the extent that the animals learned to feed on pasture. A month or two or three, when babies wake up the instinct of self-preservation, you can open the door to the cage — and bears teens will briefly go into the forest. And once gone entirely to start a free life.

In the village Bubonitsy over the past 20 years have grown up and taken back to nature more than a hundred bears.

But not Ostakhov — he still lived in the house and crawled, dragging his hind legs, like a fin. Veterinarians come, shaking their heads — Ostakhov never walk normally. Svetlana Pazhetnova pitied him to tears: free animal destined for eternal life in a cage.

However, more recently, the cage was the only way to survive for hundreds of cubs annually sirotevshih across Russia. Bear gives birth to offspring in January. Her kids toss and turn, settling himself comfortably, close to the teats with milk. Dipper is concerned, it also stirs and growls. All this bustling little family hunting dogs easier to smell than a lonely bear.

And when the dog smelled the den, the bear hunters or killed, or frightened by them, the female runs away, throwing the young (maternal instinct, forcing desperate to protect offspring, she wakes up only in the spring, at the exit from the den of the family). Options for further developments for her cubs, helpless, often even the blind lumps (they can be two to five), there was always a bit: the death, the cell at the yard of the zoo and for special "lucky ones."

A feed her cubs and bring them back to the forest? The problem of the return of large predators in nature is still almost unknown. In the wild the same bears, before starting an independent life, spend half the year with her mother, she said, long considered teaches them to find food, defend themselves, to build a den … Until recently, it seemed that the man did not repeat that to return to the forest bears raised in captivity and similar animals can not in principle. But I'm going through the village Bubonitsy, which over the past 20 years have grown and returned to nature more than a hundred bears.

Bubonitsy lie away from rail and motorway links. This Tver region, to the nearest town, Toropets — 60 kilometers. Running along the mountain road, which is now at the end of February, zasnezhena and fabulously illuminated bright sun, in the farmer's — at a distance from one another — a dozen scattered wooden houses. Year-round inhabited only four or five of them. Cross the road footprints, which drew my attention Valentin Pazhetnov.

— And here is the fox ran, there's a trace of a tail. You know, it is due to the tail of the animal can turn a hard, rebounding from the air, or even the trajectory at a jump.

Valentin Pazhetnov, Sc.D., of the traces knows, it seems, everything. In his youth he was a hunter-trappers, who threw for months in the taiga. Then he changed a lot of trades and positions, and was director of the Central Forest Reserve, and a senior fellow of the same nature reserve (in that order). And it Pazhetnovu, considering his familiarity with the forest, in the mid-1970s, MSU professor Leonid Krushinsky, the biggest national expert in the study of animal behavior, proposed a bizarre experiment — to create the bears so-called surrogate family.

Autumn bears chosen one fallen tree, a few days swarmed around him, and when once again Pazhetnov brought them to this place, started to dig a den. Themselves, and nobody taught! It was a sensation.

Pazhetnov became a guide for bear cubs, which came out of its den at the age of three months, took it to his mother and, in obedience to an ancient instinct, went for "mother." And the man did not get in contact with them, did not play, do not iron, do not talk. He was just walking. And watching — bears that will do when they are not around training bears.

— First, however, I left them with fertilizer — says Pazhetnov. — Make balls of powdered milk, egg yolks, butter, sugar, which gave a lot of energy. A small amount of food made to feel hungry cubs and try to find food on their own.

Brown bears — being omnivorous, and for the most part — herbivores. In spring, they regale the first grass. Then — blueberry leaves of aspen, rowan. They love apples in August gladly come to known all hunters Oats — Oat field. However, as shown Pazhetnovyh work in leaves aspen caloric ahead oat grains.

— Since July, they have lived on their own — continues Valentin Pazhetnov. — And I took the assembled wife Svetochka, backpack and went on a journey with the bears. After 12 days, we met at the appointed place, Sveta gave me a new backpack with food and writing, and I told her to return empty to its letter.

Svetlana Pazhetnova can read tracks and navigate the forest better than the spouse — and always has been his most faithful companion. As a teenager, she went to hunt for months in the taiga — along with her husband. When Valentin was the director of the reserve — the paper work involved. When Pazhetnov began studying brown bear — specialization Svetlana Ivanovna became bearish diet. Valentin is still often called his wife "Sveta". And then, in 1970, when the couple exchanged backpacks while they could kick around and a couple of words: animals do not have to hear the human voice.

But sacrifices have paid off handsomely. It turned out that the bears themselves, without prompting, can find food. In the fall they have chosen one fallen tree, a few days swarmed around him, and when once again Pazhetnov brought them to this place, started to dig a den. Themselves, and nobody taught! It was a sensation.

Krushinsky, who became supervisor Pazhetnova (which Valentin finds great success, remembering a mentor with much gratitude), dreamed of developing a method for the return of bears in nature. But the technique appeared much later.

In 1985, Valentine and Svetlana (two of their children have grown up and becom
e scientists themselves) moved to an abandoned village Bubonitsy in which there were only two residents who lived in different parts of the village. Pazhetnovy planned to study the behavior of brown bears in the area. All day long they walked through the woods, in the wake of learning that makes the local bears than regaled with whom to interact. The usual work. But in the early 1990s, zoos, going to self-sufficiency, refused to take the cubs in dens found — and conscious hunters began to bring bears to Pazhetnovym, hearing that live in abandoned Bubonitsah the largest in the Russian specialists bear. Oh, they know what to do!

Pazhetnovy not refuse, even though the money for the feeding of bears them no one gave. The techniques devised in the course. In 1990, the first of seven cubs released into the nature of the four. Three adult male pulled up at the end of May, during the beginning of the bear weddings — from afar could smell, he ran to the aviary and banged on the cage until it is revealed …

In the early 1990s, researchers around the country have been busy surviving, and researchers Pazhetnovy — rescuing bears.

— We had a cow, — says Svetlana fun, inexpensive, still the youthful, agile and optimistic. — So, the milk for the cubs were, cereals, however, had to buy.

And in 1995 the work of Maria Pazhetnovyh learned Vorontsov, director of the Russian branch of IFAW — International Fund for Animal Welfare, in 1960 helping animals in distress. In Russia Fund appeared in 1994, and since 1995 it is fully funded the project as part of IFAW «Center for Rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs." Now Pazhetnovym bring the cubs from all over Central Russia, a couple of times brought from Siberia. Release them, too, in different places — they brought someone closer to home, someone — to preserve "Bryansk forest", where with the help pazhetnovskih Bears recovered vanishing population.

We finally get to the house Pazhetnovyh — by the second half in the dark, warm sleeping boxes brought in this year cubs. Take them out, just to feed the — initially fed every two hours, then less often. While bears are afraid to leave in a separate house — electricity suddenly shuts down.

Bear cubs at the age of one and a half months like … Yes anyone they do not like. Well, or like aliens. On small plush aliens. Each of the four equally dexterous paws crowned by five clawed fingers. Black wool. White-collar workers. And the blunt muzzle of plush toys. Zosia and Zahar, cubs born in 2012, in anticipation of milk sprawled on the mat during the entire length of its proud 30 centimeters (with legs extended). Both squeal and scream — clearly shout "Mom." But to each other, they do not hear — the first month of life of the bears ears are closed membrane.

  • Experiments in which the conduct involved Valentin Pazhetnov showed: bears and dogs smarter than all terrestrial predators.  It's hard to believe, but brown bears solved problems faced by children succumb to seven years.
  • In mid-spring three-month babies transferred out of the house into the cage in the forest (the cubs in a cage feeds Sergei Pazhetnov). Author: Sergey Pazhetnov, Michael Samohin / IFAW

In the village Bubonitsy over the past 20 years have grown up and taken back to nature more than a hundred bears.

In 2010, a bear cub found near the town of Ostashkov. He weighed just over 300 grams, although usually bears newborns weigh a pound. The baby was taken to the biological station in the village Bubonitsy, where there lived a few orphaned bear cubs of the year. New, according to tradition, was named by place of birth — Ostakhov — and began to fight for his life.

As with other bears, breeding and fattening Pazhetnovy Ostakhov milk, then transferred to the porridge. But it became clear that the hind legs of the baby bad move. Pazhetnovy not give up. Ostakhov were separately added to the porridge ground and hardened in the oven bones and egg shells — used Calcium therapy.

Until April, all the cubs were kept in a special house, and then taken out to the spacious open-air cage in the forest. Now, people have tried to reduce the contact with the cubs to a minimum — every day brought them porridge, silently left her and went. And gradually reduce the amount of feed given to the — to the extent that the animals learned to feed on pasture. A month or two or three, when babies wake up the instinct of self-preservation, you can open the door to the cage — and bears teens will briefly go into the forest. And once gone entirely to start a free life.

In the village Bubonitsy over the past 20 years have grown up and taken back to nature more than a hundred bears.

But not Ostakhov — he still lived in the house and crawled, dragging his hind legs, like a fin. Veterinarians come, shaking their heads — Ostakhov never walk normally. Svetlana Pazhetnova pitied him to tears: free animal destined for eternal life in a cage.

However, more recently, the cage was the only way to survive for hundreds of cubs annually sirotevshih across Russia. Bear gives birth to offspring in January. Her kids toss and turn, settling himself comfortably, close to the teats with milk. Dipper is concerned, it also stirs and growls. All this bustling little family hunting dogs easier to smell than a lonely bear.

And when the dog smelled the den, the bear hunters or killed, or frightened by them, the female runs away, throwing the young (maternal instinct, forcing desperate to protect offspring, she wakes up only in the spring, at the exit from the den of the family). Options for further developments for her cubs, helpless, often even the blind lumps (they can be two to five), there was always a bit: the death, the cell at the yard of the zoo and for special "lucky ones."

A feed her cubs and bring them back to the forest? The problem of the return of large predators in nature is still almost unknown. In the wild the same bears, before starting an independent life, spend half the year with her mother, she said, long considered teaches them to find food, defend themselves, to build a den … Until recently, it seemed that the man did not repeat that to return to the forest bears raised in captivity and similar animals can not in principle. But I'm going through the village Bubonitsy, which over the past 20 years have grown and returned to nature more than a hundred bears.

Bubonitsy lie away from rail and motorway links. This Tver region, to the nearest town, Toropets — 60 kilometers. Running along the mountain road, which is now at the end of February, zasnezhena and fabulously illuminated bright sun, in the farmer's — at a distance from one another — a dozen scattered wooden houses. Year-round inhabited only four or five of them. Cross the road footprints, which drew my attention Valentin Pazhetnov.

— And here is the fox ran, there's a trace of a tail. You know, it is due to the tail of the animal can turn a hard, rebounding from the air, or even the trajectory at a jump.

Valentin Pazhetnov, Sc.D., of the traces knows, it seems, everything. In his youth he was a hunter-trappers, who threw for months in the taiga. Then he changed a lot of trades and positions, and was director of the Central Forest Reserve, and a senior fellow of the same nature reserve (in that order). And it Pazhetnovu, considering his familiarity with the forest, in the mid-1970s, MSU professor Leonid Krushinsky, the biggest national expert in the study of animal behavior, proposed a bizarre experiment — to create the bears so-called surrogate family.

Autumn bears chosen one fallen tree, a few days swarmed around him, and when once again Pazhetnov brought them to this place, started to dig a den. Themselves, and nobody taught! It was a sensation.

Pazhetnov became a guide for bear cubs, which came out of its den at the age of three months, took it to his mother and, in obedience to an ancient instinct, went for "mother." And the man did not get in contact with them, did not play, do not iron, do not talk. He was just walking. And watching — bears that will do when they are not around training bears.

— First, however, I left them with fertilizer — says Pazhetnov. — Make balls of powdered milk, egg yolks, butter, sugar, which gave a lot of energy. A small amount of food made to feel hungry cubs and try to find food on their own.

Brown bears — being omnivorous, and for the most part — herbivores. In spring, they regale the first grass. Then — blueberry leaves of aspen, rowan. They love apples in August gladly come to known all hunters Oats — Oat field. However, as shown Pazhetnovyh work in leaves aspen caloric ahead oat grains.

— Since July, they have lived on their own — continues Valentin Pazhetnov. — And I took the assembled wife Svetochka, backpack and went on a journey with the bears. After 12 days, we met at the appointed place, Sveta gave me a new backpack with food and writing, and I told her to return empty to its letter.

Svetlana Pazhetnova can read tracks and navigate the forest better than the spouse — and always has been his most faithful companion. As a teenager, she went to hunt for months in the taiga — along with her husband. When Valentin was the director of the reserve — the paper work involved. When Pazhetnov began studying brown bear — specialization Svetlana Ivanovna became bearish diet. Valentin is still often called his wife "Sveta". And then, in 1970, when the couple exchanged backpacks while they could kick around and a couple of words: animals do not have to hear the human voice.

But sacrifices have paid off handsomely. It turned out that the bears themselves, without prompting, can find food. In the fall they have chosen one fallen tree, a few days swarmed around him, and when once again Pazhetnov brought them to this place, started to dig a den. Themselves, and nobody taught! It was a sensation.

Krushinsky, who became supervisor Pazhetnova (which Valentin finds great success, remembering a mentor with much gratitude), dreamed of developing a method for the return of bears in nature. But the technique appeared much later.

In 1985, Valentine and Svetlana (two of their children have grown up and becom
e scientists themselves) moved to an abandoned village Bubonitsy in which there were only two residents who lived in different parts of the village. Pazhetnovy planned to study the behavior of brown bears in the area. All day long they walked through the woods, in the wake of learning that makes the local bears than regaled with whom to interact. The usual work. But in the early 1990s, zoos, going to self-sufficiency, refused to take the cubs in dens found — and conscious hunters began to bring bears to Pazhetnovym, hearing that live in abandoned Bubonitsah the largest in the Russian specialists bear. Oh, they know what to do!

Pazhetnovy not refuse, even though the money for the feeding of bears them no one gave. The techniques devised in the course. In 1990, the first of seven cubs released into the nature of the four. Three adult male pulled up at the end of May, during the beginning of the bear weddings — from afar could smell, he ran to the aviary and banged on the cage until it is revealed …

In the early 1990s, researchers around the country have been busy surviving, and researchers Pazhetnovy — rescuing bears.

— We had a cow, — says Svetlana fun, inexpensive, still the youthful, agile and optimistic. — So, the milk for the cubs were, cereals, however, had to buy.

And in 1995 the work of Maria Pazhetnovyh learned Vorontsov, director of the Russian branch of IFAW — International Fund for Animal Welfare, in 1960 helping animals in distress. In Russia Fund appeared in 1994, and since 1995 it is fully funded the project as part of IFAW «Center for Rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs." Now Pazhetnovym bring the cubs from all over Central Russia, a couple of times brought from Siberia. Release them, too, in different places — they brought someone closer to home, someone — to preserve "Bryansk forest", where with the help pazhetnovskih Bears recovered vanishing population.

We finally get to the house Pazhetnovyh — by the second half in the dark, warm sleeping boxes brought in this year cubs. Take them out, just to feed the — initially fed every two hours, then less often. While bears are afraid to leave in a separate house — electricity suddenly shuts down.

Bear cubs at the age of one and a half months like … Yes anyone they do not like. Well, or like aliens. On small plush aliens. Each of the four equally dexterous paws crowned by five clawed fingers. Black wool. White-collar workers. And the blunt muzzle of plush toys. Zosia and Zahar, cubs born in 2012, in anticipation of milk sprawled on the mat during the entire length of its proud 30 centimeters (with legs extended). Both squeal and scream — clearly shout "Mom." But to each other, they do not hear — the first month of life of the bears ears are closed membrane.

  • Experiments in which the conduct involved Valentin Pazhetnov showed: bears and dogs smarter than all terrestrial predators.  It's hard to believe, but brown bears solved problems faced by children succumb to seven years.
  • Experiments in which the conduct involved Valentin Pazhetnov showed: bears and dogs smarter than all terrestrial predators. It's hard to believe, but brown bears solved problems faced by children succumb to seven years.

Zosia is trying to crawl on their bellies, although still poorly limbs obey. Her catch is returned — but bear again hit the road. Zahara his limbs obey worse, therefore, trying to crawl, he's just like a top spinning on its axis. Brother and sister grow up too fast, the paws are hard to pull them tight body — and Sergei Pazhetnov, son of Valentine and Svetlana, after consulting with his father, decides to cut bearish diet.

The family of four Pazhetnovyh Chartered Game Biologists — Valentin, Svetlana, their son and grandson of Sergei Basil. All work on the project. And none of them is hunting.

— For more than 15 years and my husband and son did not take his gun in his hands, — says Svetlana.

Valentin himself is not against hunting bears. But over the years it has sought a ban "den hunting", that is in January and February. Even now, when Pazhetnov talks about it, his voice trembling with indignation:

— Do you have a license for a bear, and one is extracted. You can not at the same time to deny the nature of a few more bears!

Largely through the efforts of a few years ago Pazhetnova hunting in January and February for a bear has been banned in the Tver region. In 2012 it was banned throughout Russia. But the problems of orphaned bear cubs, alas, it has not solved — and it's not just poaching. So, the mother of Zosia and Zahara accidentally Scared dog. Four more cubs in February quite openly brought hunters. Sergey retrieves these kids out of the box, ready to feed. Even the largest of them, it seems the size of two-thirds of Zosia and Zahara. In addition, he is completely blind — the eyes have not opened yet. And two very tiny — slightly larger than the palm each, they open until only one eye, and one that is a little more, like a fragile monkey — he is not black, but a kind of whitish-gray and pink.

  • Up to six months cubs are very inquisitive and not afraid of anything.  Later, when the instinct of self-preservation wakes up, the kids climb a tree at the slightest sign of danger.
  • Up to six months cubs are very inquisitive and not afraid of anything. Later, when the instinct of self-preservation wakes up, the kids climb a tree at the slightest sign of danger.

The cubs are beginning to bother playing the "king of the mountain" — everyone is trying to get on the other. All at the same time it can not be done, someone is always slipping, someone crawls out from under someone … This is probably the work instincts — in the den kids have to sit on my mother to stay warm. The only girl in the top six, Zosia, the biggest and most audacious, easily wins out over and over again.

— Will be dominant — said Valentin. Dominant — it can be not only males but females — are defined as follows: In July and August, when the six-month cubs start to come out of the cage, looking for sustenance, they are generally divided into small groups of two to four. Although adult bears — territorial lone cubs before puberty (the first two years of life) is very social. "Supervises" the group's bold and decisive, dominant, others plod after him. First, the team regularly returns to the cage — but one autumn day can not come. Will remain in the forest and begin to build a den at all.

Not all of the first year of release — Part of the cubs is not yet ready to spend the winter on their own. Then leave them until spring in the den in the enclosure. Now in it, a few kilometers from us, napping Demian Group, a leader with a difficult fate.

Almost a year ago, in early May, the rural students Demyanovskaya district of Novgorod region, walking along the path, seen on the side of a lonely four-bear. Children, he was not afraid — to five months bears are not afraid of anything, they still dormant instinct of self-preservation.

Teddy bear behind the family. It happens — a bear can not take it, and if one of her brood too weak and lagging behind, she does not notice. She did not notice anything suspicious until there is one.

The children carried the bear huntsman, who took him to Pazhetnovym. Weak little alien students from Bubonits, already mastered in the pen, and at first greeted warily ignored. But the cub was growing up, fed — and by the end of the summer suddenly became
the leader of the group.

Bears, reared by people in the future do not have to make contact with the person. To confirm that their "graduates" do not perceive humans as a source of handouts Pazhetnovy clubfoot put ear tags. Unfortunately, information on tagged beasts appears either in casual observations, or when these bears hunters extract (thankfully not often). A label on the back of seven, healthy, well-nourished male. But we know that no one bear with an ear tag to the people not to come out. And it happened that the labels were saving animals lives — so that once the local gamekeeper Volodya, to arrange a hunt for visiting fans, seeing that the dog picked up the labeled bear managed to shout: "Do not shoot! It's pazhetnovsky ».

Efficiently through radio collars to track bears, and even better — a GPS-collars, which are labeled with a few bears. But the devices within a year or two gets a battery, and it is dangerous to change. One time there was an attempt — with teenagers Kira and Clara, what good is not led — except that the striking observation.

In April 2005, eighteen months these bears released from the cage, providing Cyrus GPS-collar. Cyrus collar does not seem to bother, but the battery was sitting up, and in the winter, finding Kira in the den, it is immobilized, and the collar changed. Keira spent the winter alone, where Clara was, did not know anybody. In the spring of the signal collar found on the floor of another, empty den. And it clearly could see the teeth marks. Apparently, the new collar bother Cyrus, she went to her friend, knowing where she hibernates, and Clara, realized that he needed help, pulled off Kira's collar.

With the radio-collared directly linked the fate of nehodyaschego Ostakhov Ostashkovo. Svetlana Pazhetnova continues to tell his story, and her voice was trembling.

— In April, I endured it in the sun to warm the sustavchikov. And since I brought him back porridge — Svetlana worried more — put a bowl, left, and for some reason, suddenly turned around, I saw — and it relies on its hind legs to reach the bottom of the mess. I was dumbfounded to see how frail he leaned his crooked legs. So, will they work?

And it did. Later, when Ostakhov lived in a cage, he was given a collared by which it is known that Ostakhov dug a den for a couple of bear Genk. Genk Pazhetnovy also named co-defendant, because in his youth he had a relationship to crime — Genka illegally traded on the market, from which it was possible to withdraw sympathize with the bear cub deputy. In late March, bears left the den — and suddenly the signal was lost. Svetlana Pazhetnova was desperate. And in early May, the guys came running to her from a neighboring village, shouting:

-Svetlana, live Ostakhov! The road passed in Kosilova, near a bus stop!

Text: Maria Kozhevnikov

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