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FOUR PAWS to build new BEAR SANCTUARY in Ukraine

The foundation stone has been laid in a ceremony, which FOUR PAWS founder and president Heli Dungler attended.
© FOUR PAWS | 2016

The new BEAR SANCTUARY, whose foundation stone was laid in a ceremony yesterday, will be the future home for 20 bears rescued from bad keeping conditions. FOUR PAWS founder and president Heli Dunger, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Ostap Semerak, Governor of the Lviv regional state of administration, Oleh Syniutka and other representatives of Ukrainian authorities were attending yesterday’s event. “With this sanctuary FOUR PAWS is able to offer a sustainable solution for mistreated Ukrainian bears through the provision of a life-long, species-appropriate environment,” explains Heli Dungler. Following our initiative a new animal protection law was passed in Ukraine in 2015, making illegal the use of bears and wolves for baiting, and the organisation and staging of bear baiting contests as well as running so called bear baiting stations. 

First abused bears to move in by mid 2017

The first phase of construction will be finished by middle of 2017. An outdoor enclosure of 7,7 hectars in size will be ready by then, housing up to eight brown bears. In the final state, which will be finished in 2018, the sanctuary will cover an area of 20 hectares, including not only natural habitats for mistreated bears, but an educational centre for visitors too. 

FOUR PAWS active in Ukraine since 2012

We have been active in Ukraine since 2012. Despite the ban on using bears for baiting, there are still about 20 baiting bears in the country. These bears are being attacked by hunting dogs for training and usually receive insufficient food and water. Their claws are sometimes cut to make them weaker opponents for the dogs. As bears’ claws are supplied with blood, cutting them without anaesthetic causes incredible pain, comparable to the pain humans would experience if their fingertips were cut off. Furthermore, more than 100 bears in Ukraine are exploited to entertain tourists. They are living in tiny cages next to restaurants, hotels or petrol stations.  To date FOUR PAWS has been able to save several brown bears in Ukraine. Five bears that were rescued by FOUR PAWS have found a new home in the BEAR RESCUE CENTRE Nadiya in Zhytomyr, Western Ukraine. Meanwhile, the centre has already reached its maximum capacity. FOUR PAWS has also implemented several stray animal projects in the country.