Heralding the arrival of spring, the brown bears at Kent’s Wildwood Trust have emerged from 4 months of hibernation and returned back into their huge 1.5-acre woodland home.
A huge occasion for the wildlife conservation charity, the release would usually be attended by hundreds of visitors who enter a raffle for the chance to feed the bears and open their gates.
This year, however, the event which also signifies the start of the busy visitor season, was not open to the public as Wildwood is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A huge blow for the wildlife park as they depend on donations and visitors in order to run.
Five years ago, brown bears Fluff and Scruff were rescued by The Wildwood Trust from a sad situation in Bulgaria. The pair weighed half what they should have and despite being in the same facility, had never seen each other or any other bear.
Thanks to donations from generous supporters, Wildwood was able to fund the rescue and build a woodland home for the bears where they are now thriving and able to live the most natural life possible.
In the wild, bears don’t fully hibernate but enter into a state of torpor where a slow metabolism allows them to survive the winter with little food available.
In November, Fluff and Scruff were brought into a smaller enclosure at Wildwood with a warm den, and after a ‘last meal’ of cabbage and parsnip, the bears started their long 4-month sleep.
To survive a period of closure The Wildwood Trust has launched an urgent appeal to assist with ongoing running costs. If you would like to help keep the animals fed, healthy, happy and provided with the enrichment they need please donate here