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FOUR PAWS saves orphaned bear cub in Poland


Little Cisna finds a new home in Poznan Zoo

FOUR PAWS and its cooperation partner Poznan Zoo, have decided to look after an orphaned three-month old brown bear cub who was found by foresters in the mountains in south-eastern Poland. The cub who has been named Cisna, was  brought to the local wildlife rescue station. The whereabouts of her mother is unclear, yet it seems the cub was unattended for a long time and now needs proper care and a safe, appropriate home.

Read our updates below to find out how Cisna is progressing!

© FOUR PAWS | Zoo Poznań

Update 11May 2016: Finally outside!

At the end of April we brought the female bear orphan, who has now been named Cisna, to our cooperation partner Zoo Poznan. Over the past few weeks Cisna has settled in well, so she has already been able to leave the indoor enclosure and make her first steps in the temporary outdoor enclosure. The permanent, large enclosure will be built in the coming months to strict FOUR PAWS animal welfare criteria, so that Cisna can enjoy a life close to nature. But for now at least the bear cub is able to breathe fresh air again!

Polish bear cub Cisna
© FOUR PAWS | Zoo Poznan

Update 24 April 2016: The transport was successful!


Puchatka (since named Cisna) has finally arrived at Zoo Poznań. The veterinarians of the Wildlife Station, where she was until now, have brought her safely to her new home. The bear cub needs to rest and adjust to her new surroundings. For the first few days, she will stay in the indoor enclosures until the vets decide that she is ready to be released in a temporary enclosure. In a few months she will move to a larger outdoor enclosure, which is built to strict animal welfare criteria by FOUR PAWS.

It was decided that the bear cannot be reintroduced into the wild because there are no facilities or organisations in Poland that specialise in reintroducing bears back into the wild. Wildlife reintroduction requires a lot of experience and know-how. It can’t be done by simply releasing the bear back into the wild, the bear needs to be released in a special area and monitored additionally by experts and special staff. This cannot be done with the available resources in Poland at the moment. Furthermore, it is very likely that the bear cub has already become far too accustomed to the proximity of humans in the time since she was rescued.

The small bear weighs just 4.5 kg currently, but the team is hopeful she will gain more weight in the coming weeks.
© FOUR PAWS | Christiane Flechtner

FOUR PAWS joined the process of saving the cub at a very early stage by establishing contact between a number of key stakeholders, including  Poznan Zoo, the local wildlife rescue station, scientists from Poland, Johanna Painer, an expert from from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and a number of FOUR PAWS’ own workers from its bear sanctuary Prishtina in Kosovo, all of whom have much experience caring for orphaned bears. 

The small bear weighs just 4.5 kg currently, but the team is hopeful she will gain more weight in the coming weeks.
© FOUR PAWS | Christiane Flechtner

FOUR PAWS is supporting the construction of an enclosure and will also help to cover the cost of the cub's accommodation.


Since the reintroduction of the cub back into the wild is not possible, FOUR PAWS and Poznan Zoo have agreed to accommodate the small bear in the zoo. The temporary 300 m² enclosure will be built together with Poznan Zoo within the next two weeks. It will be equipped with a privacy shield, covering little  bear from the eyes of visitors, so the cub will stay in an, appropriate environment without stress. Later the bear will be relocated to a bigger enclosure appropriate for her long-term accommodation.

At the moment the cub, which has been named Puchatka (“little bear” in Polish), is being kept in the Rehabilitation Centre for Protected Species in Przemyśl. The bear is located in a wooden house with enough straw to keep her warm and provide her with tactile stimulation from her surroundings. Puchatka is shy and avoids people, but visibly calms down when surrounded by the vets she has become used to.


The small bear weighs just 4.5 kg currently, but the team is hopeful she will gain more weight in the coming weeks. The feeding schedule drafted by FOUR PAWS specialists includes regular, vast food distributions to help increase the cub’s weight.


Bear cubs like Puchatka usually rely on their mothers to keep them clean by licking their fur, so the vets are using wet towels to maintain her hygiene. They have also taken a test of the cub’s blood to ensure she remains healthy.