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Gallery: Bear caught in Valga sent back to Russia

A young male bear who was caught near Valga in August and comes from Pskov Oblast in Russia, was sent to a rehabilitation center for orphaned bears in the Tver Oblast Central Forest Reserve on Tuesday.

Proša's journey began Tuesday afternoon at Tallinn Zoo where the bear has been staying since he was caught. His journey took 24-hours and was 850 kilometers long. He arrived on Wednesday and will be released into the wild in the spring.

Organizing the transport of the bear turned out to be more difficult than initially thought, ERR reported. "The bear had entered the Estonian state illegally without documentation. However, due to the understanding of the authorities in both countries, all the obstacles that had been resolved and the untraditional situation had been overcome, and Proša was sent home," said Tiit Maran, director of the zoo.

"From time to time, we have been asked why the zoo did not keep Proša. There are two reasons, the zoo generally does not take wild animals for its collection, and secondly, we are unable to provide a suitable habitat for the brown bear."

He added the system of rehabilitation of wild animals in Estonia is still under development. "If possible, the zoo will try to help in such cases in the future," said Maran.

Proša was one of two brown bears spotted in Valga County in south Estonia in August. Only Proša was captured after he fell asleep under a tree. Experts think the bears had strayed across the Estonian-Russian border.   

The two-and-a-half-year-old Proša was found scavenging at a compost heap in Valga County, ETV's current affairs show Aktuaalne kaamera reported in August, where he had been causing some disruption. The bear had knocked over paint pots and clambered over at least one vehicle and some outhouses.

The bear had reportedly visited the compost heap, in the village of Kulli, nightly for several days before being caught.

Vet Madis Levits said that the bear had plundered a trash bag before falling asleep under a fir tree where he was found. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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