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June 06, 2021
PUZHA CAME BACK TO THE WILD
June 6th Puzha was returned to the forests in the Komi Republic, where she was born. The young female was released at the territory of Koigorodskyi National Park. The forests of this Park are considered to be the largest unaffected by human massif of virgin southern taiga forests in Europe.
Long-term studies of orphaned bears behavior confirmed that by 6-7 months they reach the "independence age", when they have already formed the foundations of behavior forms and acquired skills necessary for survival in the wild. And Puzha was not the exception: by the end of summer 2020, the young bear was ready for an independent life. She actively ate natural for brown bears food, growing on the territory of the enclosure, as well as insects and their larvae, expressed a fear and caution common for brown bears - at the slightest unknown sounds that could cause a potential danger to the cubs, or when OBRC specialists appear on the territory of the enclosure, the bear climbed the trees, where she was seating and hiding.
Puzha, like her peers, was thoroughly examined by veterinarian specialists. All health indicators were within the normal range and in accordance with the age of the animal, no pathologies in the development of the bear were identified. Puzha's small size is just a feature of her constitution.
We did not release Puja in Autumn 2020, but decided to leave the young bear for wintering in OBRC in order to conduct another experiment, aimed at studying the "den-building" behavior of the orphan bear cub, who had to build the den and wintering alone without a mother.
During wintering, bears lose about 30% of their weight. However, Puzha, despite her moderate weight, overwintered safely and came out from the den in early April.
Our experiment, on the example of Puzha, once again confirmed the ability of orphaned bears, without being taught by the mother, to gain enough fat reserves, to build a den that is no different from the dens of bears in nature, and to winter safely.
The release of Puzha was organized and coordinated with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Komi Republic, as well as with the specialists of the Kaigorodskyi National Park.