Sable fur is among the most coveted luxury fashion items in the world. The fur industry considers the Sable’s thick, silky soft fur superior over everything else. Its lush texture has made it possible for the fur industry to drive its value way up to exorbitant heights. Which doesn’t really benefit the animals in any way. But it’s important to recognize the fact that Sables are amazingly adorable creatures. So when Moscow-based Zhenya stumbled upon a photo of a wild sable online, she fell in love and grew curious about this highly coveted creature.
Zhenya’s home country, Russia, has a high demand for Sable fur. According to reports, there are around 70 fur farms in the country that raise and ultimately kill these creatures for their pelts. For animals destined for luxury, various documentaries have revealed the bleak, depressing, and cruel conditions that they have live through before being killed for their fur. Evidently, Zhenya’s self-education about Sables have revealed their grim fate to her. So, when she found out that she could save one from such a fate, she took it.
“Eventually, I learned that there was an opportunity to buy her out from a fur farm. She would have died there, so I decided to save the little fella.”
Zhenya now lives together with her rescued Sable
After successfully saving the wild Sable she saw online, the pair are now living happily together. But it took a lot of getting used for the both of them. Initially, Zhenya had meant to rescue and release Umora back to the wild. However her plan changed when she realized that Umora, having been raised in a farm, might not fare well in the wild. So she took her in instead.
“Umora has a difficult personality. Living in the fur farm really took a toll on her, so she’s quite emotional, sometimes even a bit hysterical. Umora is also cheeky and likes to steal stuff. She’s very active and smart as well.”
Sables develop severe distress in fur farms
A documentary showed the reality of Sables in Russian fur farms. The creatures are kept isolated from one another in wire mesh cages. “There’s so many of them, and they’re jumping all over the place,” the reporter noted upon entering one of the holding areas of the farm. Inside the cages, the Sables were cartwheeling, flipping, and thrashing around their enclosure, as though they were desperately trying to escape. “They don’t look too happy,” the reporter added.
Despite keeping one as a pet, Zhenya discourages the practice of trying to domesticate Sables
“One has to go through a lot before they can start living with it comfortably. It requires a lot of time and patience. It might even take a couple years for you to be begin to fully enjoy your life with it.”
Sables live in dense forests dominated by spruce, pine, larch, cedar, and birch. Their territories can range somewhere from 4 to 30 square kilometers in size, depending on the local terrain and food availability. But if they grow a bit tired of the forest, they can also move and live near river banks. These adorable and highly coveted creatures are master cliff climbers as well.
They may look like miniature bears with wonderfully smooth fur, but make no mistake: they’re wild. These creatures aren’t meant to be a commodity or anyone’s pet. It takes about 40 Sable pelts to make one coat, which totally seems unjust and uncalled for. There are much better, more sustainable options to keep ourselves warm and fashionable. Sables look better in their fur than we ever will. So we commend Zhenya for her effort of saving not just one, but two from a dire fate!
Watch Umora in action