Early thaw prematurely wakes up Russia's largest captive bear

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Moscow, Feb 6 (UNI) Early thaw in southern Russia has brought the country's largest captive bear out of hibernation.

''Earlier this week, the Kamchatka brown bear, Elizar, and the central Russian brown bear, Andrei, came out of hibernation,'' Rostov zoo official Alexander Lipkovich, told RIA Novosti news agency today.

''They are doing well, but are a bit sleepy,'' he said.

Premature awakening poses no threat to the animals' health, as bears can 'drop off' again if temperatures plummet, he added.

The zoo official Lipkovich further said the 300-kg Elizar, who was transferred to the Rostov Zoo from the Far Eastern region of Kamchatka, had not hibernated at all in several warm winters as he had been confused by unusually high temperatures.

Six of the Rostov Zoo's eight bears usually hibernate in winter.

Its two polar bears stay awake, he said.

UNI XC SZ ND1910

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