French group rescues starving Bosnian bear

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The undernourished eight-year-old bear weighs a mere 75kg instead of the average 200kg.

15 April 2008   

BANJA LUKA - A bear, which almost starved to death in a private Bosnian zoo, was Tuesday transported to France after being rescued by an animal protection group, an activist said.

"The bear Miljen is (being) transported in a special van, with a special cage. He is sedated and a French veterinarian is accompanying him," Bogdana Mijic, of the local animal protection organisation NOA, told AFP.

Miljen will be kept in an animal rehabilitation centre, NOA said.

The eight-year-old brown bear, weighing only 75 kilograms instead of the average 200, was discovered last month by Serbian actor Miljenko Kljakovic who was shooting a movie in Bosnia, local media reported.

After he saw the animal suffering in the improvised zoo of a hotel near the northwestern town of Prijedor, the actor alerted local animal protection groups which got into contact with the French Respectons association.

The bear, brought to the Servud hotel while he was a cub, was neglected for years and managed to survive due to the mercy of a man who fed the animal a loaf of bread every day -- all he said he could afford.

"I was bringing him bread and that was enough for him not to die," the man, Darko Sevic, told local media, adding: "I am happy someone initiated a rescue action for him."

[AFP / Expatica]

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