A rescued bear cub who was illegally sold by a Ukrainian zoo to animal traders has been enjoying her new-found freedom by going for a swim for the first time.

 Eight-month-old Nastia is now in "good health" and has been moved to a new home by the animal charity that rescued her.

The enclosure at a Four Paws Bear Rescue Centre in Zhytomyr called Nadiya - Ukrainian for "hope" - is spacious, has plenty of trees for the cub to climb and a pond to swim in.

"We have waited a long time for this wonderful moment," said Dr Amir Khalil, head of the charity's Ukraine project.

"Finally, Nastia can live a beautiful life appropriate to her needs. She is in a safe place now."

Helmut Dungler, founder and CEO of Four Paws, added: "It is touching to follow Nastia's first steps into freedom. I am happy that we succeeded in bringing the little bear's suffering to an end."

The charity first raised awareness of her captivity in June when it released a video of Lutsk zoo illegally selling the cub and forcing her into a cramped transport box.

Footage showed the animal screaming as she was snatched from her anxious mother, Masha, pacing in her cage.

The charity rescued and reunited Nastia in July with her mother at the zoo, where both animals were cared for around the clock by Four Paws staff, while the new rescue centre was built.

VIDEO Nastia's first steps into a better a life.

Rescued Bear Cub Gets First Taste Of Freedom: Eight-month-old Nastia, saved from illegal traders after being snatched from her mother, is enjoying her new home.

Responses to "Illegally Sold Bear Cub Is Rescued In Ukraine (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome!! I'm so happy to hear about this!! Good Job!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful. God bless this awesome rescue group. I am so happy that Nastia is happy now, but sad to see the video of the stress she went thru being snatched away from her mother. Those people should be jailed for that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful ending to a tragic story...

  4. Unknown says:

    Awww, such WONDERFUL people!! I am so happy that Nastia was saved from a terrible fate, and it is nice to know that Four Paws will continue to rescue abused and suffering animals. That video of Nastia screaming as she was being taken from her mother was HEARTWRENCHING. Those awful people need to be wrapped up in barbed wire and tossed off a cliff.

  5. Anonymous says:

    inspiring and powerful, good people will always get my support and admiration.

  6. Cynthia says:

    Have a wonderful life. xxoo

  7. carina says:

    Thank God for this rescue !!!! and bless all involved !!!! Im on FB: carina lobel west. please let me know how I can help !!!
    Four Paws Rescue is soooo important !!! we here in the USA also have our nightmares with bears that are mistreated !!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to everyone involved in the rescue of this beautiful girl!

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