Despite the general perception that the Iraqi bear population was next to nothing, a well grown brown bear made a big appearance in the bustling city of Basra. The outskirts were a buzz with calls to the local authorities reporting a bear in the middle of the streets. Onlookers filmed without a care and the bear was calm throughout the roam around the streets.
The bear was quickly captured by Iraqi local authorities who tranquilized the bear to sedate it. It was guided into a cage and loaded onto a pickup truck to be transported to the zoo. The local zoo has taken care of her and is currently taking care of the bear until it is ready for release in the wild.
Some investigation will be done to see if the bear has a family and if they can be supported to grow Iraq’s bear population. Locals have been very keen on animal conservation, going as far as to shoot and arrest hunters from other countries coming into Iraq to hunt the native animals. In a recent case, Qatari princes were arrested and held hostage until Qatar promised it would not send illegal hunting parties into Iraq. Locals still routinely catch other hunters trying to sneak into Iraq to hunt. They hope the native bear population can rise and flourish as many other populations have with the return of the famous Iraqi marshes.