During a workshop on the reintroduction of wild bears in 2000, participants agreed that more data has to be gathered to study the long-term effects, before it can be determinded whether or not reintroducing (orphaned) bears is beneficial to the species in the wild. The workshop was a cooperation betweeen Bears in Mind and the Bear Taxon Advisory Group (Bear TAG) of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).
Reintroduction in Italy
In the mountains in the Trentino region, wild bears from Slovenia are being introduced. Slovenia has a healthy bear population. Another possibility of reintroduction of bears is the rehabilitation of orphaned bears. In such a programme orphaned cubs, whose mother has been shot or died in an accident, are taken care of in a special rehabilitation centre. They are raised and then taught to become wild bears again. If the cubs are grown and can fend for themselves, they are released back into the wild. There is presently not enough data to make claims about the long-term effects of these reintroductions. People are still unsure as to what happens to the bears when they grow older. Time will provide the necessary data.