Captured bears are removed from restaurant area and it is possible that they are no longer alive

The captured bear cubs have been removed from restaurant area!

On July 17, 2019, in the village of Variani (Gori Municipality), the captured bear cubs were removed from the restaurant’s territory. 

Following a visit to the restaurant by the Environmental Supervision Service, the restaurant owners denied keeping bears on their territory. 

GSPSA fears that the bears have now been killed. 

The GSPSA addresses the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to immediately investigate the keeping  of bears in the restaurant area and their subsequent fate, while the law enforcement officers (or persons) must act on behalf of existing laws.

More details about the fact:

On July 17, 2019, GSPSA received photo and video material showing the caputed bear cubs.

The eyewitnesses informed us that the bear cubs were held captured in the village Variani.
The building where the bears were kept had only one window. According to the eyewitness, the shed caught his attention as he heard the bears screaming in there. He recorded the scene and passed on this recording to GSPSA.
The GSPSA staff immediately contacted to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and urged the immediate response of the law.

Upon receipt of the notification, the employees of the Ministry of Environmental Supervision Department immediately visited the places. The information about this visit was passed on to GSPSA from an authorized person employed at the same department. Despite the agreement with the department employee, on July 17, GSPSA did not report the results of the departure. At the end of the same day the organization released video footage provided by the eyewitness and posted information that was sent to the department.

On July 18, GSPSA chairman yet again contacted the employee of the Environmental Supervision Departement, who informed the organization that on July 17 the staff of the department did visit the village Variani, however, they could not find the captured bears, and the restaurant’s leadership strongly denied the existence of bear cubs and having captured any.

With the direct participation of GSPSA management communicated an eyewitness person with the authorized employee of the Supervision Department. As we know the eyewitness interviewed the department employee and provided him with detailed information.

On the same day, on July 18, according to the Environmental Supervision Department representative, the relevant crew was still on the spot, but it was not yet discovered by the detainees.

 

As the supervision of the department told us, of the appropriate service based on information received within the powers held by the necessary action, but did not find the captured bear, while the restaurant strongly denied existing bears in their territory, which, of course is a false report.

The GSPSA provides the following conclusion on the video-materials provided by the eyewitness and the information  provided by the relevant staff of the ministry:

  • The facts of captivity are confirmed in a specific place (evidence of photo-video materials and eyewitnesses);
  • Until the employees of the relevant service of the ministry, the dump can be disappeared from the place (or are killed or hid in another place or in the forest);
  • The confidential information provided by the GSPSA to the Ministry of Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia has been unlawfully disclosed and the manager of the restaurant warned the staff of the department will visit them.
  • The information about the fact that the building on the territory of the restaurant did not have a bears, does not correspond to reality and is false information;

GSPSA has a thorough suspicion that the video bears have been 5-6 months and are captured and imprisoned for several months and maybe they have been killed  the mother bear.

GSPSA expects and does not exclude that the captured bears were intended to be used to slaughter meat in case of a “respectable” guest.

GSPSA categorically requests the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia to officially publish information and answer the questions related to this fact. The Ministry should also address the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to investigate the case. First of all, the most important part is the destiny of bears and where they are now.

The brown bear  is included in the “Red List” of Georgia. It is prohibited and punishable by law to capture them.

According to the Article 853 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia, the animals in danger of extinction by the “Red List” of Georgia or the destruction of their eggs, living place and other structures that may result their death, decrease in number or hazardous environment, or And / special cases of animals to obtain their exploration of restrictions and / or violation of the conditions of their buying- selling without proper authorization or capturing – subject to a fine of 2 000 GEl, or Confiscation of an offense weapon or by confiscating the object of the offense.

Illegal extraction of bear in Georgia is punishable by criminal law. Damage caused by to obtain one bear illegally is defined by 50 thousand GEL.

According to the Order No. 2 of the Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia dated 2 February 2011, the amount of damages caused by the damage to the environment is 50 000 GEL according to the “methodology for determining damages (environmental damage)”. Accordingly, the person who illegally captures a bear (is killing) under the law of Georgia shall be entitled to compensation for the damages caused to the environment.

 According to the Criminal Code of Georgia, hunting on animals entered into “Red List” is punishable by fine or correctional work for up to two years in length or by imprisonment for up to three years in deprivation of the right to work for a period of three years.