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Ukrainian Ministry of Environment visits our bear sanctuaries


A delegation of the Ukrainian Ministry of Environment has visited our bear sanctuaries in Arbesbach and Müritz, in order to get to study our high quality, high safety standard, outdoor enclosures. Our bears saved from circuses and zoos are able to rediscover their natural behaviour patterns.

© FOUR PAWS International

In 2011 the Ukrainian Ministry of Environment started to build the first national bear sanctuary Synevyr in Western Ukraine, in order to give a beautiful, species-appropriate home to the so called Vodka bears. There are approximately 100 brown bears living in very poor private captive conditions across Ukraine. Most of them are living in small cages next to petrol stations or restaurants. They have to perform tricks or drink alcohol, in order to entertain passers by. In Ukraine there has been a ban on private bear ownership since August 2011. The animals will be confiscated by the authorities and will be brought to the bear sanctuary Synevyr which is 12 hectares in size.

But the transport and the housing of a bear requires a tremendous logistical effort and a lot of know-how. FOUR PAWS has many years experience in the construction of bear sanctuaries and is providing the Ukrainian government with support in constructing the sanctuary and transporting bears. Six animals have already been saved and brought to Synevyr with the help of FOUR PAWS.

The delegation was visibly impressed by the high quality management of our sanctuaries.

In the coming months the Ukrainian government wants to transfer, in cooperation with FOUR PAWS, many other suffering bears to Synevyr.