Captive bears in Georgia
Donor: Alertis Foundation (the Netherlands)
Project Implementation Period: 2006 - 2007
Bear population has been critically reduced recently. There
are approximately 600 brown bears left on the territory of Georgia. Illegal
trade has driven the increase of poaching of bears. Cubs are sold live at
markets and body parts (i.e. gall bladders) are also valuable. Bear trade
appears to be an international business, and unfortunately it also occurs in Georgia.
We face the critical situation.
Moreover, captive bears are undoubtedly the major wild
animal welfare problem in Georgia. One can meet captive bears everywhere. Bears
are imprisoned at petrol stations, roadside restaurants and hotels as a form of
amusement to attract customers. Photographers also use this trick
Having taken into account the environmental side of the
problem, it is alarming to think of the possible reasons and consequences of
this business. It is almost impossible to capture a small bear without killing its
mother. Thus, one captured bear is an equivalent of one female individual.
There were the cases when the owners of the restaurants hosted their visitors
with bear barbeques at a high price.
Since 1995 NACRES has been monitoring the problems of bear
poaching and capturing in Georgia. At the present stage we are implementing the
project focused on comprehensive overall assessment of the captive bear problem
with concrete outcomes and development of a relevant strategy and action plan
for further action.
25 bears were estimated to be captive in Georgia. The
condition of the bears was found to be extremely poor ? they are kept in the very
small and dirty cages. And no one knows what will happen to them in the future.
For detailed information please contact Bejan Lortkipanidze: