Kent Wildlife Park bids farewell as cubs find new home

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Submitted for publication by Georgina Mear

Orphan cubs Mish and Lucy were favorites of the Wildwood Trust near Canterbury, but have now bid farewell to their Kent home as they take the final step to their ‘forever home’ in Devon

The little siblings were rescued from certain death and rehabilitated by the staff of the Wildwood Trust after being abandoned by their mother in the Albanian wilderness and now, two years after their dramatic rescue, they are on their way to their happiness forever in Devon. Kent Park patrons who still care for two adult bears say their success with the cubs has opened the door for more bear rescue in the near future

Mish and Lucy were originally scheduled to travel directly to the Trust’s sister arm in Devon, but had to move to the Garden of England after the pandemic delayed construction on their new home.

Mish and Lucy with their farewell gifts

Wildwood Living Collections Manager Mark Habben said: “Mish and Lucy are now family in Wildwood Kent, but it was never planned to have them here in the long term, so we’re all incredibly excited. to end their journey home forever.

“We are delighted that their new home is finally ready and I know they will be really happy in Devon, our bear experts will be there to support our team and share their experience to help the cubs settle down. We look forward to our visitors and members meeting them.

Wildwood Trust has received worldwide acclaim for its rehabilitation of two brown bears, Fluff and Scruff, who were rescued in Bulgaria six years ago. The couple, who are still in Kent Park, made a full recovery after suffering years of physical and mental trauma when they were held in an abandoned breeding facility in horrific conditions to be slaughtered for the ” sport”.

It was because of their impressive reputation in this field that the association was approached to help provide a permanent forest sanctuary for Mish and Lucy in April 2019.

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Paul Whitfield, Managing Director of Wildwood Trust, said: “All of the bears we deal with in Wildwood have been rescued, as have Lucy and Mish who just couldn’t survive in the wild.

“Their journey is extraordinary, but they are not alone. They represent the struggle of wildlife to exist in its natural habitats in the face of climatic and natural crisis. We will give these cubs the best possible life despite their sad departure.

“Given the huge success we have had with Mish and Lucy, we hope that in the near future we can welcome more rescued bears to the Wildwood family.”

Orphan bears will begin their lives in Escot in a temporary residence while the finishing touches are made to their forever home. These were both designed to give them plenty of opportunities to explore, play and feed under the watchful eye of the charity’s team of animal experts, all behaviors they would have. learned in nature. Cubs will enjoy plenty of enrichment, climbing trees and dens of digging earth, root balls, fallen trees, toys and rope challenges, and daily treasure hunts.

Visitors to the park will be able to get up close and personal with these extraordinary animals by walking over a very exciting “bear bridge” which will connect both sides of the exhibit and provide guests with a bird’s eye view of the wooded bear house.

Wildwood Trust appealed to raise £ 250,000 to build the new Woodland Bear Sanctuary and transport the bears safely to Britain where they resided in Trust’s Kent Park until their home in Escot be ready.

Vital funds are still needed to complete the eternal home of the bear. Donations can be made on the campaign site or by calling the donation hotline: 01227 712111.

To visit Fluff and Scruff in Wildwood Kent, go to www.kent.wildwoodtrust.org.

Visitors will need to book in advance for park entrance and bear experiences.


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