HELP urgently a young bear with broken radiocollar & BAN INVASIVE RESEARCH ON BEARS !
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Help bear Djuro & BAN INVASIVE RESEARCH ON BEARS
In the forests of the south-east end of Poland, lives a small population of about 150 brown bears which benefit from the government’s strict legal protection.
A lot is already known about this population, but nevertheless, researchers decided to capture, sample and collar 25 of them for study - these bears were not "problem bears" at all. Researchers received permission to capture, sample and collar 18.
On the night of November 9 2014, a young male bear named Djuro, put his leg in an Aldrich snare trap, was caught and then immobilised with anesthesia for about an hour.
Capture is always very stressful for an animal. Anesthesia is risky and has short and possibly long term consequences, including cases of deadly myopathy, evolving into progressive paralysis.
When Djuro finally woke up, his neck had been partly shaved and he had been collared, his gums were wounded in the spot where his pre-molar tooth was extracted. Researchers say that the bear does not need his pre-molars.
The necks of young male bears grow quickly. In spite of this, Djuro’s collar was programmed to last not just for one year but two. Such collars are always a source of irritation for a wild animal and as they become too tight, the irritatation quickly grows.
What's more, collars favor parasites, gale and fungus. If open sores develop under the collar, they can evolve into wounds, they can become infected and these infections penetrate the tissues and into the body, which can lead to the bear’s death because of mortal general infection - septicemia.
Local authorites confirmed by writing to me recently that Djuro is still wearing this collar around his neck - for nearly three years now!
This situation is extremely alarming and I am very worried about Djuro's fate.
There were other bears used for this study.
During the same research program, while a mother bear was caught in a snare trap and when she was struggling to free herself, her frightened cub, imprisoned in the cage trap, could not rejoin his mother. This situation lasted before they were both anesthetised, sampled and collared.
Another young female bear, still under the shock of capture and anesthesia, soon afterwards fell into another trap and had to endure a second anesthesia to be freed.
Why continue to harass and expose wild bears to such risks to their health and their well-being ? For what reason ? For fondamental research ?
You cannot manipulate and totaly control wild animals either. Where is the elementary respect?
Researchers can use noninvasive methods of collecting data. Perfected photo traps and cameras allow researchers to recognize bears individually. DNA analyses of droppings and hair collected on "hair traps" deliver information on the identity of an individual bear, its health and his diet. This data is sufficient for the purposes of nature conservation.
We can request the authorities to make all methods of invasive research on both wild and captive bears, illegal.
Conditions for research permits should be reconsidered and modified.
But in the first place, in order to make the search for Djuro successful, we should insist that rescue efforts must be much more energetic and intensified urgently, with the help of the Ministry of Environment and the General Directorate of Nature Protection.
Separate and independent veterinary experts should assess Djuro’s health and examine his neck, or in case this unfortunate bear is found dead, conduct an autopsy.
Do you remember bear Andy ? You might have been one of his supporters :
Nikita Ovsyanikov, Polar bear researcher and ethologist whom I respect the most, expressed his opinon about radiocollars :
Every day counts for bear Djuro and Djuro needs your voice...
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