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Nov-26-2008 13:13printcomments

Group Pressures Russia to End Brown Bear Hibernation Slaughter

Habitat loss and unregulated hunting are driving brown bears into extinction in Russia and parts of Eastern and Western Europe.

Orphaned Russian brown bear
An orphaned Russian brown bear that made it to a sanctuary
Photo: Russian Bear Project

(SALEM, Ore.) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare says the slaughter of brown bears each winter in Russia takes a huge toll on bear populations while leaving countless cubs orphaned and left to die.

In Russia during the winter, hunters reportedly enter bear dens, wake the bears from hibernation and then shoot the mother. Den hunting leaves 4,000 bear cubs orphaned every year. Many of these orphaned cubs are left to starve to death, while others are taken to entertain tourists or to be eaten in restaurants.

IFAW is asking those who care about this problem to take the time to sign a petition directed to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and they believe an international voice is necessary.

Here is a link to the petition: Stop the winter slaughter of hibernating bears!

One petition signer, Jackie Dove, of California, made this comment, "Please show a little mercy for the animals and stop killing them for no good reason. This earth will not survive without animal populations, and reckless sport hunting only makes people more violent."

Although one of the most feared animals in the world, experts who study brown bears say they go out of their way to avoid people. Despite this, habitat loss and hunting have greatly reduced their populations. In some areas of Russia, and in Western and Eastern Europe, brown bears are already extinct.

IFAW says the news gets worse, "the hunts are often just social events organized by businesses or politicians. But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are believed to be ready to end the hunt and could be encouraged to take this step with encouragement from animal lovers."

For more information visit: The International Fund for Animal Welfare

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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tim February 27, 2009 12:47 pm (Pacific time)

education about the end result of these actions and the emplacement of and enforcement of strict regulations is the only answer

jamie k January 28, 2009 11:51 am (Pacific time)

horrible what r we going to tell the kids

james January 13, 2009 9:07 am (Pacific time)

you did hard on this

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