Following our success of closing down a zoo last February, Animals Lebanon needs your help now to send the last two animals to a sanctuary.
Kira and Big Mama, two female brown bears, have been locked in this zoo for the last 15 years. While we were able to take the rest of the animals in February, sadly Kira and Big Mama had to be left behind as the owner was not willing to give them up.
Maggie Shaarawi, one of the cofounders of Animals Lebanon, has been caring for the bears for the last half year.
“We were so happy when we took the other animals. It was hard to leave Kira and Big Mama behind but I knew we could not give up,” said Maggie. “Over the months the bears got a bit better as I went a few times a week to feed them fresh fruits and vegetables, but anything was better than the old bread they were used to getting in the past.”
It is so hot in Lebanon during summer, and just when the bears needed it most the water at the zoo stopped working. Maggie went every day for the last two months to give the bears water, filling up metal pans which could be slid into their rusty cages, and letting them enjoy drinking from bottles until they were satisfied.
“The zoo owner said they came to Lebanon as part of a European circus,” continued Maggie. “I can’t image what it must have been like to spend year after year after year locked like that.”
Now, six months later, with your help they will be transferred to the Karakaby bear sanctuary in Turkey.
After contacting almost every sanctuary, the Karakaby bear sanctuary – with the help of German group Pro Animale - said they could take the bears. Located near Bursa , outside of Istanbul , this is a beautiful forested area with natural ponds and caring for dozens of bears already.
Animals Lebanon needs your support now to help send these endangered bears to the sanctuary. These bears have been through so much – born in captivity, forced to act as part of a circus, then locked in tiny cages as a zoo attraction, and finally having to be left behind for half a year after the rest of the animals at the zoo were rescued.
Donate now and you can be the person giving Kira and Big Mama the first chance to ever truly be bears – freed from their cages, walking and playing through acres of grass, getting to enjoy sunlight and trees, and loving the company of so many other bears.