Orphaned brown bear cub introduced to new family at Kent's Wildwood Trust

Video credit: Wildwood Trust

An orphaned brown bear cub has been successfully introduced to his new family at a wildlife park in Kent.

One-year-old Boki was rejected by his mother shortly after his birth at Port Lympne near Hythe and had to be hand-reared by keepers.

He was moved to the Wildwood Trust near Canterbury shortly after.

Now he is having daily introductions with adult males Fluff and Scruff who began play-fighting with the young cub.

The introduction comes just four months after Boki arrived at the park, near Herne Bay, in search of a new family.

Despite numerous attempts to reintegrate him into their brown bear family, who are rescue bears from a Spanish circus, the keepers at Port Lympne soon realised that it was in Boki's best interests to move him to the Wildwood Trust, which has a 6-year track record of rehabilitating bears.

Fluff began play-fighting with the young cub. Credit: Wildwood Trust

Jon Forde, Wildwood's head bear keeper, says the first introduction went as well as they'd hoped but they're not taking anything for granted: "We knew when we agreed to take Boki that we'd need to work hard to help him learn bear behaviours and get him to a place where he could mix with the older boys.

"We're delighted to see them interact so well in the first instance - Fluff has taken to him particularly well - but this is just the first in a series of introductions and we're not out of the woods yet.

"We'll continue to work closely with our counterparts at Port Lympne in the hope that one day the three bears can be fully integrated."

The first meeting between the three bears has added poignancy given Fluff and Scruff's own back story. The pair were rescued in Bulgaria eight years ago.

They had suffered years of physical and mental trauma when they were held in an abandoned breeding facility under horrific conditions to be shot for 'sport'.