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Illegally kept Bears in Poland to get new home


FOUR PAWS signs contract with Poznan Zoo in Poland

The international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS  today signed a cooperation contract with the Poznan City Zoo to construct Poland’s biggest and most modern outdoor bear sanctuary. The new area, which is 3 hectares in size consists of four sectors with a forest area, ponds and more secluded areas – an appropriate home for the last 7 illegally kept brown bears in Poland.

FOUR PAWS will finance and supervise the construction of the first two sectors which will begin in spring 2013. With this support, the “New Poznan Zoo” agrees to respect FOUR PAWS’ high standards concerning quality of the construction and bear management as well as its future administration.

“I’m very glad that we could find a partner like the Posen Zoo in Poland that meets FOUR PAWS’ requirements and has progressive and modern view concerning animal housing, said Helmut Dungler, president and founder of Four Paws, The biggest advantage of this cooperation is the fact that the bears do not have to leave the country and we have come up with a national solution”. 

Zoo director Lech Banach and Ryszard Grobelny, president of Poznan, are also satisfied with the plans.  “The FOUR PAWS concept of bear keeping is indeed very progressive and guarantees the highest possible standards of bear keeping”, said Lech Banach. “This new form of bear management is not only good for the animals, but will also help the zoo to become more attractive for local visitors and tourists. It is an important investment for our city and will increase our popularity.”

FOUR PAWS has already been engaged in improving bear keeping in Poland for many years. Three years ago, the animal welfare organization rescued three animals from disastrous keeping conditions and brought them to the FOUR PAWS bear sanctuary in Müritz, Northern Germany. Since May 2012, private bear keeping has been illegal in Poland. However unfortunately, there are still seven illegally kept bears in Poland that lead a miserable life: Three privately kept bears in Korabiewice, that were medically treated by FOUR PAWS in June 2012, and four bears from the zoo in Braniewo, that does not hold a license for housing bears.

The big outdoor bear sanctuary will be completed in the Summer of 2013. FOUR PAWS will then bring the three bears from Korabiewice to Poznan. A few months later, the other four bears from Braniewo are to be transferred.

FOUR PAWS  has a great deal of expertise and experience of bear keeping and runs  bear sanctuaries in Austria, Bulgaria and Germany.