Irishman fights to bring abandoned bears from Russia to Donegal Wildlife Sanctuary


IRISH MAN asks for help in bringing back two abused bears and captives from Russia to his sanctuary in Ireland.

The Wild Ireland Sanctuary, based in County Donegal, is quite unique in that it rescues abused or captive wild animals and releases them to the isolated tracts of countryside belonging to the sanctuary.

Wild Ireland is home to wild boars, lynxes, wolves, foxes and bears and more, and allows ticket holders to see the animals in their natural habitat while ensuring the beasts are safe hunters and poachers.

Now, the owner of the Wild Ireland Sanctuary, Killian McLaughlin, known as the Bearman of Buncrana, is trying to save two more bears from captivity and take them to the Donegal Wilderness.

One of the brown bears previously rescued from Wild Ireland (Image: Wild Ireland / Desmond Loughery / Facebook)

Two brown bears were dumped at a dog sanctuary in southern Russia, and although the sanctuary is doing everything it can to take care of them, they just don’t have the space, training or the resources needed to give bears a decent life.

The sanctuary contacted Bears in Mind, a bear rescue charity, who in turn reached out to Wild Ireland for help.

Killian aims to raise essential funds to help improve conditions in the sanctuary in Russia, for bears, in the short term. This will include a roof to protect them from the elements and walls to provide shelter from the prevailing winds.

As soon as the Covid restrictions are relaxed, Killian and the Bears and Mind team want to travel to Russia and bring the bears back to Ireland where they can spend the rest of their lives in a natural forest.

The brown bears, Buu and Tiopa, need it the most. These two adult male bears are now beyond the confines of the sanctuary’s kennels. Bears need shelter, the cold of winter and the heat of summer.

Tiopa must sleep in a cramped cage outside with no protection from the elements

One of the bears, Tiopa, has no shelter except for a small cage kept in the open – Wild Ireland is trying to raise funds to build a roof over his head for protect him from the elements until he can be brought to the safety of the Irish Shrine.

The hope is that Tiopa and Buu can be brought to Donegal Shrine to live their lives in peace.

A second bear, Buu, is described as “absolutely huge” and has outgrown his cage at the shelter but has nowhere to go: he is trapped in the small shelter inside the sanctuary.

The huge brown bear Buu is trapped in a cramped cage; while the dog sanctuary is doing all it can, it just can’t take care of the bears

Bearman Killian wants to build Buu and Tiopa a state-of-the-art forest habitat in Wild Ireland so that the two bears can enjoy a little freedom and peace in a natural environment like he did for his other bears that ‘he has saved in the past, including two brown bears from captivity in Lithuania.

The owner of the sanctuary asked for the public’s help to collect donations that would improve the temporary living situation of bears in the dog sanctuary in Russia, build a suitable and permanent habitat in wild Ireland for bears to live and fly Buu and Tiopa all the way from Russia to their new home in Donegal.

You can find out about Buu and Tiopa’s story, or make a donation, by visiting the website here.

To keep up to date with Wild Ireland and all of its rescued animals, you can follow the Facebook page here.

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