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FOUR PAWS rescues the last three privately owned bears in Poland

2012-11-06

Successful rescue of suffering brown bears

FOUR PAWS, with the support of animal welfare organization Viva, has rescued the last three privately kept bears in Poland and has ended illegal bear keeping in the country.

The three bears Borys, Wania and Misza have been living for years in tiny cages on a neglected site in Korabiewice.



© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

Their owner kept not only the three bears, but also hundreds of dogs, cats, cows, horses and goats. Over the years he got more and more animals but didn’t have the funds to care for them. Many died of starvation or as a result of their injuries.

Borys, Wania and Misza had lived miserable lives before they were brought to Korabiewice. Borys first lived in a travelling circus and after a few years his owner then caged him in a small circus wagon. Borys has been trapped in this wagon for ten years. Wania spent the first years of his life on the 11th floor of a residential house and was then abused for dogfights. Misza had to perform tricks in a circus. In order to limit his reaction capability and to make him submissive, his owner damaged one of his eyes so badly that he lost his sight in that eye.

The three bears were confiscated and brought to Korabiewice a few years ago. But there they also lived in very poor conditions. They were malnourished and had massive behavioural disorders. Their teeth were rotten and their gums inflamed as they constantly chewed on the bars of the cage.

The Polish animal welfare organization Viva has taken over the neglected shelter and has asked FOUR PAWS to take responsibility for the bears. Last Friday an international FOUR PAWS veterinarian team provided first aid, examined and treated the bears. A German dentist restored their damaged mouths.



© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

The animals are now being fed properly and medicated according to their needs. During the operation FOUR PAWS members repaired an unused enclosure on the site, installed a security fence and behavioural enrichment for the bears. One day after the operation one of the bears took their first steps into the new enclosure.

 

For a number of years FOUR PAWS has been trying to improve the standard of brown bear keeping in Poland. In 2011 the animal welfare organization saved three bears from illegal keeping and brought them to the bear sanctuary in Müritz, Germany. The Polish government banned private brown bear ownership on May 2012. With the rescue of the bears in Korabiewice FOUR PAWS has succeeded in saving the last three privately kept brown bears in Poland.

FOUR PAWS is now planning to build a huge bear sanctuary in cooperation with a Polish zoo and will bring the three bears to the new sanctuary next spring.



© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

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