November 01, 2008

Into the Wild

In July/Aug 2004, Russian Life ran a story by Laura Williams on the Pazhetnov family in Bubonitsy, Tver Region, which works to save orphaned bears. Editor Maria Antonova was in the neighborhood and paid the Pazhetnovs a follow-up visit, joining them as they released two bears into the wild. 


Two years ago, the Tver regional government outlawed winter den hunting in the region after January 15, when bears have their offspring. Winter den hunting is when hunters wake a bear and shoo it out of the den into the blinding sun, before gunning it down. Aside from Tver region, the practice is still legal in most of Russia, leading to dozens of orphaned newborn bears every winter, many of whom are brought to the Pazhetnovs by game wardens. 

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