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Pictures | Thu Feb 11, 2021 | 1:59pm EST

Captive bears set free into mountains of Iraq

People run away as Kurdish animal rights activists release a bear into the wild after rescuing several bears from captivity in people's homes, in Dohuk, Iraq February 11.     REUTERS/Ari Jalal

People run away as Kurdish animal rights activists release a bear into the wild after rescuing several bears from captivity in people's homes, in Dohuk, Iraq February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

People run away as Kurdish animal rights activists release a bear into the wild after rescuing several bears from captivity in people's homes, in Dohuk, Iraq February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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For the third time in four years, the local non-profit 'Kurdish American cooperation organization' released Syrian brown bears in the mountainous areas of Iraqi Kurdistan, where it has become almost extinct.    

REUTERS/Ari Jalal

For the third time in four years, the local non-profit 'Kurdish American cooperation organization' released Syrian brown bears in the mountainous areas of Iraqi Kurdistan, where it has become almost extinct. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

For the third time in four years, the local non-profit 'Kurdish American cooperation organization' released Syrian brown bears in the mountainous areas of Iraqi Kurdistan, where it has become almost extinct. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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A firm believer that bears should not be kept as pets in homes, the head of the organization, Bland Brifkani, said he is alerted by his network of animal rights activists throughout Iraq when bears are kept behind bars in private houses.    REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A firm believer that bears should not be kept as pets in homes, the head of the organization, Bland Brifkani, said he is alerted by his network of animal rights activists throughout Iraq when bears are kept behind bars in private houses. ...more

A firm believer that bears should not be kept as pets in homes, the head of the organization, Bland Brifkani, said he is alerted by his network of animal rights activists throughout Iraq when bears are kept behind bars in private houses. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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According to veterinarian and animal rights activist Suleiman Saeed, keeping bears, tigers or lions at home has become a new trend among Iraqis. He worries about the bears' well-being, who "should be rehabilitated first" for a duration of at least six months to be able to fend for themselves.    REUTERS/Ari Jalal

According to veterinarian and animal rights activist Suleiman Saeed, keeping bears, tigers or lions at home has become a new trend among Iraqis. He worries about the bears' well-being, who "should be rehabilitated first" for a duration of at least...more

According to veterinarian and animal rights activist Suleiman Saeed, keeping bears, tigers or lions at home has become a new trend among Iraqis. He worries about the bears' well-being, who "should be rehabilitated first" for a duration of at least six months to be able to fend for themselves. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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At risk of extinction in Iraq because of illegal hunting, wars and a lack of measures to protect wildlife, Syrian brown bears are brought into the country by wealthier families who wish to keep them at home, Saeed said, adding that sometimes cubs also get stolen from their mothers by hunters.    REUTERS/Ari Jalal

At risk of extinction in Iraq because of illegal hunting, wars and a lack of measures to protect wildlife, Syrian brown bears are brought into the country by wealthier families who wish to keep them at home, Saeed said, adding that sometimes cubs...more

At risk of extinction in Iraq because of illegal hunting, wars and a lack of measures to protect wildlife, Syrian brown bears are brought into the country by wealthier families who wish to keep them at home, Saeed said, adding that sometimes cubs also get stolen from their mothers by hunters. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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There have been no recorded incidents between bears and humans over the last couple of years, Saeed said. However, bears coming out of captivity might try to get close to human settlements and expose themselves to the danger of hunters there. 
  REUTERS/Ari Jalal

There have been no recorded incidents between bears and humans over the last couple of years, Saeed said. However, bears coming out of captivity might try to get close to human settlements and expose themselves to the danger of hunters there. ...more

There have been no recorded incidents between bears and humans over the last couple of years, Saeed said. However, bears coming out of captivity might try to get close to human settlements and expose themselves to the danger of hunters there. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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Although they disagree on how bears should be released in the wild, Brifkani and Saeed both agree that Iraq needs a law forbidding keeping wild animals at home.  REUTERS/Ari Jalal

Although they disagree on how bears should be released in the wild, Brifkani and Saeed both agree that Iraq needs a law forbidding keeping wild animals at home. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

Although they disagree on how bears should be released in the wild, Brifkani and Saeed both agree that Iraq needs a law forbidding keeping wild animals at home. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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A bear walks after Kurdish animal rights activists released it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 11.  
 REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear walks after Kurdish animal rights activists released it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear walks after Kurdish animal rights activists released it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 10. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 10. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 10. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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A Kurdish man feeds fish to a bear before animal rights activists release it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A Kurdish man feeds fish to a bear before animal rights activists release it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A Kurdish man feeds fish to a bear before animal rights activists release it into the wild in Dohuk, Iraq, February 11. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild, February 10.  
 REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild, February 10. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild, February 10. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild, February 10.   REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild, February 10.  REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A bear is seen inside a cage before Kurdish animal rights activists release it into the wild, February 10.  REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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