Bear Who Was Dying In A Trap Had No Idea Help Was Coming

The people who work at Kosovo's Bear Sanctuary Prishtina don't usually interact with wild bears.

The sanctuary's forte is its "restaurant bears," a clan of 15 captive brown bears who had been kept in little cages outside restaurants to attract customers until 2010, when the government made the practice illegal. The sanctuary was then created to provide long-term care for these bears.

But the sanctuary's comfort zone was stretched when it got a call from police officers last week. They'd noticed a wild bear unmoving in a field dense with bushes. Something was terribly wrong with him.

The wild bear was spotted in a field. He wasn't moving. | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

"Though our sanctuary has rescued and takes care of bears [who] were kept in captivity, this is a special case when we were asked by responsible institutions to rescue a wild bear," the organization wrote on Facebook.

He was struggling in a trap. | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

A rescue team led by Afrim Mahmuti, director of Four Paws Kosova, set off to help the bear caught in a desperate situation. When the team arrived, rescuers saw he was caught in a wire trap, totally unable to move.

After tranquilizing the bear, Dr. Selatin Mjeku, a local veterinarian on the Four Paws rescue team, rushed to help.

The rescue team approaching the bear | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

The team helped Dr. Mjeku carefully remove the nasty wire trap and disinfect the wound it had left in the bear's flesh.

A veterinarian attending to the tranquilized bear | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

But Dr. Mjeku needed to make sure the bear would be OK when he woke up.

Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

"After a general health check of the bear, the veterinarian came to the conclusion that the bear was in good condition," the sanctuary wrote. "The whole staff, together with inspectors from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development and police, left ... the forest in order for him to be able to go back to his normal life in the wild, where he belongs."

A piece of the wire trap that had been digging into the bear's skin | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

The team retreated, leaving the bear to recover from the tranquilizers.

When he did, he bounded back into the wild, according to villagers who'd been keeping watch.

Once the tranquilizers wore off, the bear bounded back into the forest. | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina

And the team felt pretty fantastic about the happy ending.

Director of Four Paws Kosovo Afrim Mahmuti and veterinarian Selatin Mjeku after the successful rescue. | Bear Sanctuary Prishtina