Myhasyk was born in January 2014 in an unknown place and was sold to private individuals. Myhasyk was a contact toy to entertain visitors at a restaurant complex in the Khmelnytsky oblast. While he was small and defenceless, everyone was happy to contact him. People loved to take a photo or pet a baby. It doesn’t matter if he wants to rest or to be with his mother. And when he grew up and became dangerous, he was locked in a metal box four square meters in size. He lived there for the next few years – without a pond, without a den, walled up in the darkness of metal boxing when there is cold and heat. Bears do not tolerate captivity and usually begin to show stereotypical movements, are nervous, and even damage themselves. Myhasyk chose another way of resistance. He fell into apathy and refused to live. Visitors of the restaurant saw a bear that had been sitting all day, staring at the wall and showing no interest in life. He began to refuse food. People began to complain and the owners decided to transfer the animal to a rehabilitation centre. We immediately agreed. Myhasyk came to us on 14.09.2017 and at the age of 4.5, his new life began. The first week he was afraid to leave the adaptation box and go to the enclosure. He looked at the pond and the grass, but he was so used to living in a confined space that he could not imagine what it was like to walk under the sky. And then he decided and began to explore the enclosure. He especially enjoyed swimming. Myhasyk was sterilized and treated by veterinarians. After rescue tests showed problems with the liver and stomach. So vets set his diet and maintenance drugs. A year later, we rescued Lyubochka and we decided to socialize them. Gradually, they met and began to live together. In 2020, they moved to Kyiv with other bears and settled together again. They spend the winter together, play together, swim together. And when and what they do together – Lyuba decides. And Myhasyk completely trusts her.
Lyubochka (or Lyubon’ka) was born in the zoo of Volyn Oblast on 30 January 2016. She was taken from her mother and sold to a family of circus artists. They exploited the baby in the show, forced her to perform at children’s parties and in the circus. And she lived in a metal cage outside. Lyuba has a very difficult life. She was under constant stress. Because she missed her mother. And next to her in the next cage adult bear lived and Lyuba was afraid of him. Cubs spend two or three years with their mother in nature and avoid other adult bears. When we first saw Luba, she was constantly shouting and damaging herself with a metal fence. Fortunately, the circus artists decided to stop performing with predators. Therefore, Lyuba and Synochok were voluntarily transferred to our rehabilitation centre on 17.09.2018. Lyuba was one and a half years old. At first, Lyuba was afraid of everything and constantly hid in a den. And then we introduced her to Myhasyk. Myhasyk became her best friend. Now the happy couple lives together. Myhasyk is sterilized because we do not breed bears, but this does not interfere with love. Lyuba turned out to be a lady with a steel character. She makes sure that Myhasyk pays attention to her, she is jealous of others. She flirts with other bears through the fence. Lyuba prepares a winter den in advance. She collects and prepares litter herself. Lyuba grew up to be a free and beautiful bear female.
Synochok (means Son in Ukrainian) was born 25 February in an unknown place and then lived for almost 9 years in a cage with a family of circus artists. Just in the middle of the yard in the city of Nizhyn. He was used for shows, performances. All his life he spent on wheels. And his home was a metal cage of 4 square meters. Fortunately, the owners decided to stop the performances with predators and voluntarily gave us Son and Luba on 17.09.2018 – both bears, which they owned. Veterinarians examined and found serious heart problems. He also damaged his teeth through a metal lattice. Therefore, we have paid a lot of attention to his treatment and now he is receiving maintenance drugs. Upon arrival at the shelter, Synochok did not dare to go out into the enclosure. He was scared. Therefore, we waited for the scheduled visit of the dentist and after treatment, we took him out while he was sleeping under anaesthesia. He woke up on the grass under a tree and saw grass and leaves for the first time. Son likes to play with decks. And he re-equipped his den. He dug a ditch inside to drain the water, changed the height of the walls and the width of the entrance.
Chada — is Tien Shan (Himalayan) bear. These animals are listed in the International Red List as an endangered subspecies of brown bear. There are only three hundred of them left in the wild. Chada was born on Christmas Day, December 24, 1998. Her parents were brought to the Soviet Union from wildlife in Central Asia and distributed to public utilities — state circuses and zoos. From an early age, Chada was exploited in the Ukrainian national circus and spent most of his life on wheels, touring. Then the trainer sold the already unnecessary Chada to a private person for travelling circus shows. And he eventually left her in a small rusty cage in the industrial zone of the suburbs of Kyiv. The bear spent 7 years there. Then Chada was noticed by activists and they asked us to help. There was no space at that time, so Chada was taken to a private menagerie for detention. She was not tortured there, but the conditions of detention were still not acceptable for the bear. Finally, on 16.07.2019, Chada came to us in the White rock. After years in the circus, she has very poor eyesight and almost no teeth. Chada had a hard life but remained a fighter. And she became the star of our bear family because of her character and thirst for life.
Javelina (Jah) is an arctic wolf. She was born in a menagerie in the Donetsk oblast in 2021. And in 2022, a full-scale war was raging around and shells were falling on the menagerie. Activists evacuated her and on September 6 she settled in White rock. In the menagerie, she was crippled, left with a tail and lived in a tiny cage on a concrete floor. In the shelter, she has her own enclosure with a pond, den and vegetation, as well as a box with a warm booth. Jah is not afraid of bears at all and loves to run with them, playing and communicating through the fence.