The bears Kai and Rick sat in cramped cages from an early age for 17 years. Their mother fell victim to poachers, and the cubs were sold. The cubs were brought to Hokaido and handed over to the museum of culture of the Ainu people, who have a cult of bears and, as it turned out, four live bears were there as exhibits at once.
A year and a half ago, two tourists from Great Britain became visitors to this museum and it was they who noticed the unfortunate bears in the cages and notified the Wildlife Rescue Society of this.
The workers arrived at the site and began the process of releasing the four bears. And only last summer they were able to do this and the cages with the rescued bears were delivered to the UK.
The bears covered a long distance, almost 9000 kilometers. At the first stage, the bears flew in the hold of the plane, and then they continued their journey in cars.
On the way, they were accompanied by five professional veterinarians who monitored their well-being; the cages had built-in air conditioners.
In addition to the main diet, the bears received delicious treats in the form of honey and fruits to make the journey easier for them. In captivity, they were not familiar with the taste of such treats and in an instant they ate everything.
Kai and Rick were taken to a wildlife park in Yorkshire and released into a fenced-in area with plenty of grass and swimming ponds. The unfortunate animals could not believe their happiness.
At first, Kai began to touch the ground with caution and his gaze expressed amazement, and a feeling of happiness came later, when he got the opportunity to run and lie on the grass, basking in the sun.
Although this was their first swim, their instincts, fortunately, did not go away and they immediately began to dive and swim perfectly. Now the bears are being actively fed, as they are underweight and lack of vitamins.
Also, the poor things have damaged teeth: a long life in a cage and a lack of vitamins could not help but do their job and not affect their health. In addition, they have shabby hair and a very sluggish muscular system, and bald spots are noticeable on their faces due to long rubbing on the rods.
Two other bears, Hanako and Amu, who are 27 years old, are now in rehabilitation, as their health has been most severely damaged due to their old age.
The rescued bears belong to the category of Japanese brown bears, of which there are no more than 10 thousand individuals left in their natural habitat, and it was for this reason that it was so important for zoo defenders to save the lives of these cubfoots.