Back in April, we introduced you to some of the impossibly gorgeous cubs of Russia’s Orphan Bear Rescue Center (OBRC) – a home for abandoned or orphaned bears who’ve lost their parents, perhaps to cold Russian winters or hunters.
The center – funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and run by Professor Valentin Pazhetnov and his family – rehabilitates the animals before releasing them back into the wild.
Arriving as bottle-fed babies, the cubs then learn to climb and fend for themselves in a protected area of forest one and a half hours from Moscow.
Almost all of this year’s intake of orphans have been successfully released in recent weeks – apart from a couple who are being held over to next season until they reach the ideal weight and level of independence.
It costs around $15 (€14, £10) per day per cub to run the center. You can support IFAW and find out more about their work here.
Below, you’ll find a series of pictures of the bears’ rehab experience, including one of IFAW’s UK Director, Philip Mansbridge feeding a cub during his visit earlier this year.
Brace yourself for cuteness overload!
This is one of a series of articles written by Gay Star News in partnership with IFAW to raise awareness of animal welfare within the global LGBTI community. To find out more about IFAW’s work to protect animals around the world and how you can help click here.
All photos by Roger Allen