Published: 00:01, 10 August 2014
A campaign has been launched by Wildwood to raise £50,000 to rescue two brown bears from horrendous conditions in Bulgaria.
Park owners want to bring them back to Kent and give them a new home in ancient woodland at the Herne wildlife park.
The bears are being kept in a barren, concrete pen in Kormisosh in a centre where they used to be bred for the cruel practice of captive trophy hunting.
That was stopped by the government, but the brown bears were abandoned and are now only being fed and watered by volunteers.
Wildwood chief executive Peter Smith said: “The situation is getting desperate and we urgently need to raise £50,000 to bring these bears to Wildwood and give them a decent life in a very large woodland enclosure we would create.
“The leading bear conservation and welfare charity Alertis highlighted the plight of these bears and their experts are leading the project.
Once sheltered in our wonderful woodland, we can rehabilitate them so they can live full lives instead of being in misery.”
Footage of the bears can be see on YouTube by searching ‘Wildwood Trust launches urgent bear appeal’.
Mr Smith said fundraising games would be held at the park over the summer and also appealed for volunteers to help organise activities at Wildwood.
The simplest way to support the appeal is by texting BEAR21 plus an amount between £1 and £10 – e.g. BEAR21 £5 – to 70070.
Larger donations can be made at www.mydonate.bt.com/events/bears or by phoning 01227 712111.
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