Ken Salazar on polar bears

Volunteer work with bears in Romania

August 27th, 2009

Romania with its vast tracts of mountains and forests is home to about 60% of Europe’s brown bears. The vast majority live undisturbed, but an unlucky few are kept in captivity and used as tourist attractions in restaurants or circuses. Luckily, it is now illegal in Romania to keep a wild animal in captivity, but you can’t simply release bears that have been physically and mentally damaged by captivity. They will usually have been captured as cubs, so will have had little experience of surviving in the wild.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals has recently built a sanctuary near Brasov which will enable captive bears to be re-homed in 10 hectares of forest. Where possible, young bears will be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. As a volunteer you’ll be helping with a wide range of tasks, including feeding the bears, monitoring their progress, helping at the ‘bear hospital’, maintaining fences and facilities and showing visitors around.

From £895 (1-12 weeks) including flights from the UK. Price includes interview & placement briefing day.

Read more here

How to save the polar bear

July 20th, 2009 New York Times editorial. “Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has upheld a Bush administration finding that the Endangered Species Act is not a suitable tool for restricting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases threatening the polar bear and its habitat. We agree, with this codicil: There are steps Mr. Salazar can and must take under the act — steps that the Bush White House would not — to protect the bear..”