VIDEO: Brown bear saved from certain death arrives at East Devon wildlife centre

This is the heart-warming moment a brown bear saved from a death sentence steps out into his temporary new East Devon home for the first time.

Rescued Diego safely arrived at Wildwood Devon at Ascot, near Ottery St Mary, on November 2 despite the challenges posed by Storm Ciaran.

It marks a new lease of life for the adorable creature who was on borrowed time and faced being euthanised at a soon-to-close zoo in Sweden.

Diego was the sole-surviving bear at the Orsa Predator Park in Scandinavia which is due to shut to make way for a leisure facility. Staff faced having to put down any remaining animals.

Wildwood Trust is working with Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park in Suffolk which will act as a forever home for Diego from the spring.

He has been offered temporary refuge in East Devon for the winter while Jimmy’s Farm gets his enclosure ready.

Diego the brown bear arrives at Wildwood Devon in East Devon. Image: Wildwood Trust

Diego the brown bear arrives at Wildwood Devon in East Devon. Images: Wildwood Trust

Wildwood Trust’s director of zoo operations Mark Habben said: “We’re really excited to be working with Jimmy’s Farm to save the life of Diego, a bear whose zoological home is closing down and he had no other options.

“We’ve managed to intervene between us and we are delighted to be able to hold this bear for the duration of his torpor.”

Plans to bring Diego over by ferry were amended in light of the impending Storm Ciaran.  He instead made a secure and timely journey via train through LeShuttle.

Wildwood Trust has gained global recognition for its rehabilitation of brown bears.

Its Wildwood Devon site already houses two orphaned brown bears, Lucy and Mish, who narrowly escaped death after being discovered abandoned by their parents in Albania in April 2019.

Diego is expected to go into torpor – a natural bear behaviour in which bears sleep deeply for weeks or months with only short periods of activity in-between.

Conservationist, TV presenter and founder of Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park, Jimmy Doherty, said: “Wildwood Trust are experts in their field so I am delighted Diego will spend his torpor there over the winter period. It is a great environment for him and allows us to complete essential work of his future home at Jimmy’s Farm.”

Diego’s journey from Sweden will be featured in an upcoming documentary produced by Jimmy and his team.

PHOTOS: East Devon wildlife centre offers refuge to a brown bear who faces death when his home in Sweden closes

About Author