Call To Action! International Animal Rescue’s ‘Break The Cage’ Campaign Aims To End The Poaching Of Wild Bears In Armenia

International Animal Rescue (IAR) has launched a powerful new campaign targeting poachers in Armenia who kill female brown bears in order to steal their cubs and sell them to be kept in captivity as tourist attractions.

The story of the bears in Armenia is powerfully and poignantly told in an animated film created by Northforge and narrated by actor and animal activist Peter Egan.

The animated film shows a bear cub in the wild with its mother, learning the skills he will need one day to survive on his own. But the carefree mood is shattered by the looming silhouette of a man with a gun. The mother is shot and killed while the little cub is captured and condemned to a lifetime of captivity. The film mixes animation with real footage, a combination that effectively conveys the callous cruelty and misery that bears suffer.

At the end of the animation, viewers are urged to sign a petition calling for heavier penalties for bear poachers in Armenia – and to share the petition far and wide via their social media.

Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue, said: “The persecution of brown bears in Armenia has gone on long enough. In 2017, with our Armenian partners FPWC (Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets), we launched The Great Bear Rescue which aims to free all caged bears in Armenia and give them the lives they deserve. So far we have rescued 30 bears but there may be as many as 50 more waiting to be set free. We aim to release as many of the rescued bears back into the wild.

“By focusing on the poachers’ role in capturing these bears, we are tackling an aspect of the problem that costs the lives of female adult bears and deprives their cubs of their freedom. Many of the bears we rescue have spent years in small, squalid cages, bored and frustrated and unable to express any natural bear behavior.

“The fine in Armenia for poaching bears is derisory. It’s time to make the poachers pay for their crimes. We hope increasing the fine significantly will deter poachers and save bears from being killed or being captured and left languishing for years in captivity.”

International Animal Rescue, along with their Armenian partners, are pushing for a dramatic increase in the fines for poaching wild bears. Even though the species is red listed, the fines are currently a measly $2,500.

Take action now – sign International Animal Rescue’s petition and call for an end to the poaching of wild bears in Armenia, HERE!

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