In the spring of 2009, three orphaned Asiatic black bears were taken to a small animal sanctuary in Far East Russia. The bears, one female and her two brothers, have been part of an intensive rehabilitation programme between 2009 and 2011. They were prepared for a life in the wild. During this period the three bears have been ‘guided’ around the woods by two researchers. During these sessions, the guides were wearing camouflage clothing and they did not speak. By means of photographs, sound and image recordings, the researchers have been able to follow the development of the bears in detail.
In 2010, the bears were released into the wild. Just before their release, the two males weighed between 20 and 23 kilos, while the female weighed around 8 kilos. All three bears are wearing radiocollars with a transmitter, enabling the researchers to keep track on the bears. In the forest, a chance meeting with a Siberian tiger or an adult bear is very likely.In the time since their release, the bear were followed closely and did well. After two years, the collars automatically fell off.
The project has proven to be a great success and a lot of vital information about adolescent rehabilitated bears has been gathered and shared.