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Last dancing bear rescued from Ukraine
Kristina was rescued by Four Paws in partnership with Ukranian authorities

Kristina spent her days trapped inside a tiny cage

The last dancing bear in Ukraine can now recover in peace and tranquillity, thanks to the efforts of an international animal charity.

Bear Kristina was rescued by Four Paws in partnership with Ukranian authorities and has been moved to the safety of its newly-built bear sanctuary Domazhyr near Lviv.

The rescue mission took place last week, moments before Kristina was due to make an appearance in Ivao Frankove, Western Ukraine.
Following hours of negotiations with Kristina’s uncooperative owner, police and environmental inspectors decided to intervene and seize the bear.

The bear was moved to the sanctuary where she will now be cared for and monitored until a court decides that she can stay there for good. At present, the confiscation is only temporary.

Carsten Hertwig, a FOUR PAWS bear expert who brought Kristina to her new home, says that while Kristina is doing well under the circumstances, her condition is not ideal.

“At first, we brought Kristina into an indoor enclosure so that she could get used to both her new surroundings and our bear keepers, who observed her behaviour closely. On her second day, they decided to let her into a larger outdoor enclosure,” she said.

Kristina spent much of life in terrible conditions. Her owner kept her inside a tiny cage in his van while she was paraded around circuses and restaurants. Sometimes temperatures inside the van could get as high as 30 degrees celsius.

Time and time again, Kristina’s owner insisted that she perform in circuses or pedestrian areas for public enjoyment. During the winter months, when ‘entertainment season’ was over, Kristina spent her days in a tiny shed on the grounds of fish factory.

Kristina, together with another bear rescued earlier this year, are the first residents of the species-appropriate, natural home. The sanctuary will eventually provide shelter to thirty bears that have previously been subject to abuse, neglect or cruelty.

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Giraffe Conservation Foundation named BVNA’s charity of the year

News Story 1
 BVNA president Wendy Nevins has named The Giraffe Conservation Foundation as the association’s charity of the year for 2017/2018.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation dedicates its work to a sustainable future for wild giraffe populations. Wendy Nevins said: ‘I have chosen the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for the BVNA Charity of the Year because I have always thought Giraffes were magnificent animals.

‘I also think it is important that we look at the wider issue of conservation and education across all species.’  

News Shorts
Scientists win award for openness in animal research

UK scientists have won an award for the 360ş Laboratory Animal Tours project, which offered the public an online, interactive tour of four research facilities that are usually restricted access.

The project won a public engagement award at the Understanding Animal Research (UAR) Openness Awards, which recognise UK research facilities for transparency on their use of animals in research, as well as innovation in communicating with the public.

The tour was created by the Pirbright Institute, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol and MRC Harwell Institute.