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First huge success: Albania will start constructing a bear sanctuary in 2017


© FOUR PAWS | Hazir Reka

The FOUR PAWS campaign #savethesaddestbears brings first success


Albania's Environment Ministry has officially announced the construction of a sanctuary for bears in the National Park "Mali Dajtit" near its capital Tirana. This happens just a few months after the "memorandum of understanding" between the Albanian Environment Ministry and FOUR PAWS to save around 50 beras suffering in cruel captivity. The project for this centre is finished on paper. Now the fundraising phase has started in order to start building in 2017. Since we already run five bear sanctuaries in five different European countries, we will advise the Ministry on how their sanctuary should be built. By building a sanctuary, we - together with the Albanian ministry - provide a long-term and sustainable solution for all bears currently suffering in the country. Carsten Hertwig, bears expert at FOUR PAWS, says, “We are delighted about this successful cooperation with the Environment Ministry, and are very happy to support these plans for construction. Alongside the creation of a sanctuary, we’d also like to see a clear, legal ban on the cruel practice of keeping bears in Albania so that the animals will never have to suffer again there. We’ve launched an online petition for this cause.” 

Moreover, we've worked with the Albanian Environment Ministry to rescue the two bears Tomi and Pashuk from appalling conditions and transfer them to Tirana Zoo, where they will be looked after temporarily. As soon as we have all paper finalised, we'll transfer them to our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina, where they will find a lifelong, species-appropriate home. 

Sign our petition

Please help us encourage the Albanian Ministry for Environment to enact a blanket ban on the cruel keeping of bears and to more strictly enforce the existing legislation aimed at protecting wild animal populations, has already been signed by over 100,000 people in just three weeks. Our goal has not been reached however. Therefore, we are asking all of you to help us by signing our petition: