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 efficiently.

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:



Contact Information: Mailing Address - 0179 Tbilisi-Georgia
Courier Address - 12a Abashidze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia. - Tel: (+995-32) 23 37 06 - Fax: (+995-32) 53 71 24
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All photos were taken by members of NACRES staff

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