HELP US RELOCATE MASHA THE BEAR
We are urgently trying to raise funds to have Masha the bear relocated from Ukraine to her forever home with AMP Libearty in Romania. Mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia means that this project is time sensitive and if she isn't moved soon, she could end up back in a zoo... or worse yet, a circus.
Masha is a Eurasian Brown Bear, born in captivity on 28 January 2000 in a Ukrainian zoo. When she was just a few weeks old, she was separated from her mother and trained to perform in a long-established Ukrainian Circus.
There, she was made to jump through hoops, ride a scooter, walk in tandem with her controller and perform a series of on-the-spot tricks for public entertainment, all while wearing a muzzle and fearing the whip if she disobeyed.
Masha performs in a Ukrainian Circus with a muzzle and restraints
She did this for 19 years, living in a small cage on the back of a truck whenever she was not on stage, and to this day, bears a scar on her snout from where her muzzle dug into her flesh.
Masha was made to jump through hoops, ride a scooter and interact with the crowd
This was Masha's home for 19 years - a small, cramped cage in the back of a truck
Two years ago, our partnered NGO in Ukraine, Warriors of Wildlife, were made aware of her situation and immediately made arrangements to have her rescued.
She was taken to a temporary holding facility on a farm in Sambir, south of Lviv in West Ukraine where she would be able to roam freely until a more suitable home became available. Unfortunately, the owners of this land are under pressure to relinquish the space that Masha now occupies and Free The Wild are working to have her moved as soon as possible.
As of January this year, AMP Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania have offered her a place in their wonderful sanctuary and we are working with WoW to have her safely transported via TRACES registered vehicles, from Ukraine to Romania.
Since she was taken out of the circus and moved to the farm, she has made tremendous progress in reigniting her curiosity and rediscovering what it means to be a bear. Her new home in Romania will provide even more creature comforts and have her interacting with other members of her species; something she hasn't been able to do for two decades.
Masha enjoying a leisurely bath in her temporary home while waiting to be relocated.
Please help us finalise her rescue and see to it that she lives out the rest of her days in total peace, in a large natural space with others of her kind.
We need to raise £8,000.00 to cover her transportation, her travel crate, her permits and associated vet fees. If you have anything to spare, please make a donation to Free The Wild today.
Without your help, Masha could end up stranded in Ukraine, without a home. Your support would guarantee her safety for the rest of her life.
Team Free The Wild
UPDATE: 22 MARCH 2022
MASHA, THE 22-YEAR-OLD EURASIAN BROWN BEAR IS SAFE AND SETTLED IN
Over the last few months, Free The Wild and our partners in Ukraine have been making efforts to relocate Masha from her temporary housing facility in the South of Ukraine, to her new sanctuary home in Romania. When the time came for us to move Masha, Russia began its attacks on Ukraine, making it dangerous and very difficult to arrange support, logistics and veterinary assistance.
However, on Sunday 20 March 2022, representatives from our partnered NGO made their way to Romania and a day later, drove across the border to collect Masha in a private vehicle. From there, she was checked over by a group of expert vets before being sedated, loaded into the vehicle and transported across 700km to AMP Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania.
She arrived late last night (Mon 21/03/22) and spent the evening in a special night shelter, used to introduce animals to the new space. As of this morning, the door to her enclosure was opened and Masha took her first steps on wild ground and, for the very first time in her life, saw another bear.
AMP Libearty Bear Sanctuary is one of the best sanctuaries in the world for bears, with 70 hectares of wild spaces, pools, trees and of course, other bears - now home to over 100 rescued brown bears from across Europe and parts of Asia.
Masha is now set to live out the rest of her life in total peace, never again to perform for human benefit, nor be cramped in a tiny cage on the back of a truck; as she was for 19 years of her life.
Thank you all for your continued support in this mission and we look forward to bringing you more positive news as we progress with our ongoing mission to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity. There is always more to be done, so please, if you have anything to spare, please help us do more.
Team Free the Wild ❤️