This tiny ball of fluff recently became the center of quite a lot of drama. And now he has the happy ending he deserved right from the beginning.
It all started when someone mistook him for a stray puppy.
A man in Kosovo looked out into his yard and saw the little ball of fluff lying there all alone. So he scooped him up and put him in a box on a bed of hay.
But there was something a little off about this “puppy.”
His claws were a little too sharp and he made sounds that didn’t seem very canine.
“On closer inspection,” Four Paws International wrote in a statement provided to The Dodo back in May, “it was clear the animal was a brown bear.”
That’s when the man contacted the authorities in hopes that the baby animal could be reunited with his mom, who lived in Sharr National Park. And that’s what the authorities said would happen — but it isn’t what happened at all.
“Although the authorities promised to bring him back to his mother, Four Paws discovered the male bear in the filthy basement of a restaurant in Sharr National Park,” the organization wrote. “In a small wooden box, the bear barely saw any daylight and had no room to move around.”
After uncovering the baby bear’s plight, animal rescuers sprang into action, urging the authorities to do the right thing: let the bear cub go to a sanctuary where he could live the life he deserved. Thousands of people from all over the world signed a petition calling for the little cub’s freedom.
Finally, early this month, Four Paws and the Kosovo authorities came to an agreement and the little bear was brought to Bear Sanctuary Prishtina, a home for traumatized bears.
“We thank Ministry of Environment and Agency for Environment Protection for the trust in our professionalism to continue with the right treatment for the cub,” Afrim Mahmuti, who manages the Bear Sanctuary Prishtina, said in a statement provided to The Dodo.
When the cub was released into a grassy and sunny enclosure at the sanctuary, he was clearly overwhelmed with how beautiful his new home was.
He kept standing up on his hind legs to look around in astonishment, before bouncing around from one part of his habitat to the other, eager to explore.
The bear will have very little contact with people so that the experts at the sanctuary can figure out what the future holds for the cub.
In about six months, his caretakers will decide whether the cub is fit to be released back into the wild. Otherwise, he will always have a place to call home at the sanctuary with other rescued bears like him.