Help Ruben roar and hear the roars of others

Ruben was in a private zoo in Armenia which closed, the other animals were removed but Ruben was left behind. His world went silent. For over five years Ruben’s roars have gone unanswered. He has now been moved to Armenia’s Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife & Cultural Assets bear sanctuary, where ADI is funding his care in a quarantine unit. He has just been microchipped, had the necessary vaccinations and blood tests required for international travel. Dr Harutyn Hovhannisyan is working with Dr Peter Caldwell to establish a regime to prepare him for his journey and provide any necessary pain relief.


  • We are applying for the export permit from Armenia and import permit to South Africa.
  • We will build Ruben’s travel crate in Armenia (shipping an ADI crate from South Africa is too costly).
  • We are preparing Ruben’s habitat at ADIWS – this will be a series of small enclosures with adaptations such as very low platforms, to meet Ruben’s needs.
  • We are investigating flights for Ruben, which can only be confirmed once we are in possession of the CITES and veterinary health import and export permits.
  • Ruben’s travel costs include ground transport in Armenia and South Africa, and airport ground handling at Yerevan and Johannesburg airports; he’ll need food and water on the journey, which could be long and entail stops and even changes of aircraft.

We hope to move Ruben in March but that will be determined by receipt of permits and availability of flights.

To help Ruben home and his lifetime care:

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