Take your first day of summer as a kid, your first day of school and whichever of your birthdays was your favorite growing up, and you’ll have something of an idea of how these bears are feeling.
The 13 cubs in this video grew up at the International Fund For Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) Orphan Bear Rescue Center in Bubonitsy, Russia. To prepare them for their eventual release into the wild, they’ve been getting exposure to their natural habitat a little bit at a time, and we’re very privileged to be able to show you a glimpse of that magic.
Brown bears in Russia face the same threats as their American counterparts: Habitat loss and over-hunting, primarily. A few of these cubs may have lost their mothers to trophy hunters who then left the babies abandoned in the wild.
But rather than focus on the negatives, you can read more about the IFAW’s bear cub rehab center here and watch the full video of their first experience with the big wide world up top.