Wildwood Trust launches urgent bear appeal:
A Brown bear in its concreate enclosure at Kormisosh, Bulgaria c Alertis
£50,000 needed to save two brown bears from
Wildwood Trust desperately need help to raise £50,000 to rescue two brown bears from horrendous living conditions in Bulgaria and bring them to a new home within the ancient woodland at Wildwood. Wildwood are creating the England's first brown bear rescue and rehabilitation centre where they will receive the specialist care and enrichment programmes to help them flourish and lead a full and interesting life.
The bears are kept in small, barren concrete pens in an abandoned bear breeding centre called Kormisosh, in Bulgaria. The bears used to be bred for the cruel practice of canned hunting, being released for trophy hunters to shoot. This was stopped by the Government but means the bears at Kormisosh where abandoned and are at present looked after by volunteers who do not have the ability to continue to care for them. The situation is getting desperate with little help for the bears as their pens are falling apart.
Peter Smith, Chief Executive said: ‘Wildwood desperately needs £50,000 to pay for a very large woodland enclosure and transport the bears safely to England. I am asking all our supporters to pledge their support and make a donation, large or small, to give these bears a chance of a decent life.’
The leading bear conservation and welfare charity ‘Alertis’ highlighted the plight of these bears. Alertis experts are leading this project and training Wildwood staff to give the bears the best life they can. Once sheltered in our wonderful Kentish woodland we can rehabilitate them so they can lead a rich and happy retirement full of enjoyment instead of sorrow.
Alertis commented: ‘We are looking forward to working with Wildwood to rescue these bears from their terrible life in Kormisosh and give them a new home in the woodland.’
The fundraising appeal launches at the beginning of the summer holidays and urges people to give whatever they can.
Peter added: ‘Every penny counts and there are so many ways you can get involved and help out. Over the summer holiday, visitors to Wildwood will be able to take part in our special fundraising games and activities taking place in the park. If you are able to give up some of your spare time we are desperately in need of volunteers to help us run the fundraising activities. You can also help by holding your own fundraising event to raise money for the bear appeal – do a sponsored challenge, hold a bake sale or host a fun evening in and don’t forget to spread the word! The more people that know about the bear appeal, and the plight of the Kormisosh bears, the better.’
The simplest way to support the appeal is with your mobile, text BEAR21 plus an amount between £1 and £10 (e.g. BEAR21 £5) to 70070. If you would like to give more than £5, you can you can also make a donation online by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/events/bears, alternatively you can donate by phone 01227 712 111. £5 could help to buy bedding for the crates when transporting the bears to Wildwood, £50 could help towards the health checks and vet’s fees and £500 could help towards building their large woodland enclosure.
Supporters of the appeal will be able to follow progress of the bear appeal on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please use the hashtag #savethebrownbears.
If you are interested in volunteering (over 18s only) or if you are interested in running a fundraising event please contact the Wildwood fundraising team on 01227 712 111. For further information about the appeal, opening times and admission prices, please visit www.wildwoodtrust.org.
*Donations will be deducted from your mobile phone account and cost £5 plus your standard network text message rate. Wildwood Trust will receive 100% of your donation. Always get the bill payers permission.
Wildwood bear rescue appeal video:
Rehabilitated bears playing at the Alertis centre in the Netherlands – what Wildwood Trust are trying to create:
Save the bears in Kormisosh. This harrowing footage is of the bears Wildwood Trust are trying to rescue in partnership with the bear rescue charity Alertis:
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Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Nr Canterbury, Kent CT6 7LQ
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- Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent’s best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, see wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more. As one of the leading British animal conservation charities in the UK Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain’s most threatened wildlife. Wildwood Trust have taken part in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent’s most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.
- Wildwood Trust operates a membership scheme which gives unlimited visits from just £3.50 per month. A family membership is just £7.00 per month for 2 adults and up to 6 directly related children.
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