Case: Rescue of Bear
Region: Lviv oblast, city of Lviv
Essence of case: Animals’ protection
Interested party: West-Ukrainian Society for Protection of Animals
Essence of problem: Transportation of bear from the unspecialized open-air cage in Lviv to the shelter for bears, created by WSPA in the city of Wereshedhas (Hungary)
Since 1997 West-Ukrainian Society for Protection of Animals received a lot of complaints on the bad housing of the bear Kotya in the Museum of the Popular Architecture and Life “Shevchenkinskiy Hay” (Lviv, Ukraine). The World Society for the Protection of Animals received a lot of complaints from the foreign tourists as well, who visited the above-mentioned museum in Lviv and personally saw the life of the brown prisoner. Kotya was born in 1982 in the circus, but he was ineducable and the trainer Filatov gave the bear to the museum during his tour in 1983. All his life Kotya lived in the dirty rusty metal cage, which was very small and non protected from rain and wind.
The West-Ukrainian Society for Protection of Animals decided to reconstruct the open-air cage, but the long-lasting search for donors for this action didn’t gave any results. After that, they decided to transport him to the shelter for bears, created by WSPA in the city of Wereshedhas, Hungary.
This action, known as “Bear Rescue”, was possible due to help by World Society for the Protection of Animals legal assistance of the Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA) (Hungary) and EPL. We received the permits from Mr. Kuybida, mayor of Lviv, and from the Department of Culture of Lviv oblast after the request of Mr. Dragan Nastich, representative of WSPA, and visits of representatives of West-Ukrainian Society for Protection of Animals. The next step was the preparation of all necessary transportation documents. This process continued from May 1998 till August 1999. There were obtained permits from the State Department of Environmental Safety of Lviv oblast, the inquiry from the Museum of Popular Architecture and Life. EPL helped to obtain the permit from the Ministry of Environmental Safety of Ukraine for transportation of bear. Thanks to EMLA, EPL’s partner, in particular executive director Shandor Fulop and Patricia Hatvani, we received letter from the mayor of the city of Wereshedhas on readiness to accept Kotya. We only had difficulties with document of the CITES Committee, because we had to go to Moscow, where the administrative body of CITES for the region of CIS is situated. When all procedures was successfully finished, the employees of the shelter for bears came to Lviv on August 13, 1999 and took Kotya away.