The bear cub ‘Martín’, rescued last May in the Leonese municipality of Igüeña, is progressing “favourably” at the Cantabria Wildlife Recovery Center, where it was transferred, and will be able to return “soon” to the Wildlife Recovery Center. Recovery of Valsemana Species, in the province of León.
This has been advanced by the Minister of Rural Development, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Environment of Cantabria, Guillermo Blanco, during the visit he made to the Villaescusa center to check the evolution of the cub, which will be 9 months old, and to congratulate its workers for the “magnificent job” done so that the animal has been able to recover from its injuries in “record time”.
For Blanco, this rapid recovery comes to endorse “the great value and usefulness” of this center, which works “intensely” in the recovery of wildlife, as well as the “quality, skill and professionalism” of its workers.
The bear cub was found by an individual in Igüeña, dehydrated and in critical condition, and was initially admitted to the Center for the Recovery of Wild Animals of the Junta de Castilla y León, in Valladolid.
Two months ago he was transferred to Cantabria to start the second phase of care at the Wildlife Recovery Center of the Ministry of the Environment, where he has been treated with the aim that he can be safely released into the natural environment.
To do this, it has remained in facilities specially designed for this type of treatment in which contact with humans is avoided, in a controlled environment and carrying out exhaustive monitoring to ensure its normal development under conditions of minimal human intervention.
Completely naturalized, emulating the environment of a Cantabrian forest, the facilities also have a hospital equipped to carry out diagnostic and treatment tests, and a veterinary team specialized in handling wild animals.
As explained by the veterinarian in charge of the Center, Malena Fallos, the evolution of the animal has been very positive, since it was admitted in a “state of shock and with very low weight”; After his recovery, the objective is to send him back to Castilla y León to prepare him, in a pre-adaptation phase prior to his release.
“Key” environmental enrichment
Environmental enrichment has been “key” to the cognitive development of the specimen, as well as to encourage its natural behaviors of play and exploration of the environment. To all this we must add a diet based on fruit, nuts and deer meat, the foods that the bear cub will find in the future in the natural environment.
During this time in Cantabria, the bear cub has regained enough weight to move on to the next stage of its return to nature process, reaching 24 kilos from the barely 4 it weighed when it was found in León.
Once it leaves Cantabria, the bear cub is expected to remain for another two months at the Valsemana facilities before being released. There it will live in conditions of semi-freedom, following the experiences of the cubs ‘Saba’ and ‘Éndriga’ who, after passing through the Cantabria Wildlife Recovery Center, were successfully reintroduced into the natural environment.
This is the fifth bear cub to pass through the Villaescusa facilities after another four specimens from Asturias and Castilla y León have been treated at this center, the result of collaboration between the three communities in terms of the recovery and rehabilitation of fauna species wild.