Brown Bears are the only bear species that live in Georgia. It can reach 300 kg in weight and 3 m in length. It has a massive head, small ears, short tail, powerful arms and legs with sharp claws. Although the bear belongs to the carnivore, it differs from other representatives of the carnivora order by feeding mostly on plants. Bears are good climbers and swimmers. Brown bears also dig. Brown bears become sexually mature at 4 years of age and usually give birth to 2 cubs 2-3 times a year, they usually remain with their mother for about 3 years. Often adults and newborn bear cubs live with their mother. Bears rarely sleep for a long time because of the warm winter in Georgia, unlike cold climatic conditions, where the bears go into a deep sleep. In the wild Brown Bears have been known to live up to 20 years and in captivity- up to 50 years. The population is greatly reduced in numbers due to poaching in Georgia. Brown Bear is listed as an endangered species in the „Red List“ of Georgia making its capture prohibited and punishable by law.
Most of bears have been captured for years for entertaining purposes at petrol stations, restaurants, hotels, monasteries, circus and private houses.
In 2010, to solve to problem of captured brown bears, Soso Jikurishvili who is an actor with profession founded the shelter of brown bears under the permit of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection. Since the date of founding the organisation up to day, there have been 12 brown bears in the shelter. These bears had been locked in small size cages in severe conditions for years.
The shelter of brown bears is located on about 1 hectare of land. The shelter takes care of rehabilitation of bears and works on their return back to the wildlife.
The shelter of bears is arranged in Tskhvarichamia ( Sabaduri Forest) on the land purchased by the founder. Feeding and economic expenses are funded by the founder and public dotation.
Each bear has its own bitter history.