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A new enclosure for three bears in Korabiewice


FOUR PAWS bear experts are working on a long-term cooperation with Poznan zoo in order to provide an appropriate living space for the last privately owned bears in Poland. Nonetheless, a group of three bears rescued in a severely neglected shelter in Korabiewice required emergency medical aid and temporary improvements. The three animals, Borys, Wania and Misza, all share a past of abuse and suffering. An international team of expert vets was gathered to make sure the bears can begin their recovery process as quickly as possible.

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

In June, veterinarians from Germany, Kroatia and Poland took effective measures to improve the condition of Wania, Misza and Borys. Dr Loose, a human dentist, who had previously worked on wild animals at several FOUR PAWS sanctuaries, operated on their teeth, which were damaged severely from a life of malnutrition and biting the bars of their cage in boredom and agony. The bears had been confiscated and brought to the self-proclaimed shelter years ago and were kept in a kennel that was much too small and scantily equipped for their needs. More than 400 dogs, cats, goats and even cows were also kept on the site, which has since been taken over by Polish FOUR PAWS partner organisation Viva.

Traumatised by dogs fights and circus training

The fates of the three bears are somewhat typical of privately owned wild animals: Borys and Misza are both circus bears, while Borys was abandoned and kept in an old wagon for a decade; Misza bears deep physical scars from his taming - one of his eyes was injured so badly that it remained blind. Wania, meanwhile, was abused for dog fights after spending the first years of his life locked up in a council flat. The team on site in Korabiewice has done much to alleviate their suffering: the bears were put on medication and an appropriate diet, all of which will be covered by FOUR PAWS.

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

Bears respond well to treatment and new living space

Considering the devastating state of the shelter site, it was even more surprising that it actually offered several hundred square metres of natural vegetation. The area was swiftly turned into a temporary bear enclosure with plenty of enrichment features that trigger the animals to rediscover their instincts and skills. One by one, they were given time to adapt to the new surroundings, which had an amazing effect on their wellbeing and their activity level. A vet student from Warsaw has since taken over the cleaning of the enclosure as well as all further work and care needed. In a few months' time, FOUR PAWS will be moving the animals to their new home in Poznan, which will offer them the best possible living conditions for the rest of their lives.