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Abandoned Zoo Bear Injured By Shells Relocated To Scottish Refuge

Rescued bear from Ukrainian war zone finds new home in Scotland
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A bear rescued from an abandoned zoo in Ukraine where it had been hit by shells has been saved and relocated to a zoo in Scotland. The Asiatic black was discovered when Ukrainian soldiers entered the village of Yampil which had been under Russian occupation for five months.


The village contained a zoo which once held over 200 animals – but black bear Yampil was one of the only survivors of the invasion. Yampil was scared and injured – he had been concussed by an exploding shell, and his team believes he wouldn’t have survived another week.


Staff at Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian in Scotland heard about Yampil from Belgian charity, Natuurhulpcentrum, which cared for the bear while a home was found for him. Arrangements were made to transport the bear to Scotland – and after traveling 690 miles over 12 hours, Yampil arrived at his new home today (Fri).


“We are so pleased to say that Yampil has arrived here safe and well, and is settling in perfectly in his forever home here with us. When we were made aware of the awful treatment and conditions Yampil was subjected to, our hearts broke; we were just so amazed he was still alive and well. When the volunteers found Yampil, a shell had not long exploded near his cage, and he was concussed,” said Brian Curran, owner of Five Sisters Zoo.


“He was in terrible condition; five more days and they wouldn’t have been able to save him. Bears, just like people, can suffer mental health issues similar to post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) after they’ve been through something really traumatic,” he said.


“That’s why we have the best team on hand to care for him and help make this transition as peaceful and calm for him as possible. Now, Five Sisters Zoo is fundraising to finish the construction of a permanent enclosure for Yampil,” he added.


The zoo has raised £60,000 through its efforts so far, and is hoping to reach its target of £200,000, which will be used to fund Yampil’s specialist enclosure, care and upkeep.


Staff at the zoo are grateful for the money raised so far through donations from individuals and for the materials donated from local businesses used to construct the enclosure.


“We have rescued bears before and have some terrific facilities. However, Yampil is the first rescued Asiatic black bear we will care for, and he requires a whole new enclosure to match his special needs. That’s why Yampil is now settling into a temporary enclosure where he will continue his recovery or go into hibernation,”  said Brian Curran.


“This will give us time to continue to fundraise for his permanent enclosure and work on building this with the support of our community. We are well aware of the cost-of-living crisis and of people’s difficult financial situations, but should anyone be in a position to help, we would really welcome their support and generous donations.” he added.


To join Five Sisters Zoo in this extraordinary endeavor to build Yampil’s forever enclosure in Scotland, please visit the zoo’s website and fundraising appeal here.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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