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FOUR PAWS saves Ukrainian brown bear

Three year old brown bear Potap has had a sad life so far. His first year he spent in a circus. After that, he carved out a miserable existence on bare concrete within a little eight-square-meters-cage on the premises of a private sports club in the Ukrainian town of Luhansk. He has problems breathing and a deep wound because he had to wear a leather collar that was too tight. His owner neglected him altogether. His body is skinny and emaciated. He only got water, wheat cakes, vegetables and fish to eat. Together with him, dogs trained for hunting used to live on the premises. Residents report that Potap was abused during these trainings to take away the dogs´ fear of bears. An extremely painful life for a bear – entirely without variety and yet continuously under stress due to the dogs.


Through a joint operation by FOUR PAWS´ rescue team, the staff of the Bear Care Centre Synevyr and the Ukrainian authorities, Potap could be seized yesterday morning and consigned to the care of FOUR PAWS. Veterinarians examined the bear thoroughly and prepared him for a long journey. So Potap could as early as yesterday start his 1,400 kilometer journey to the Bear Care Centre Synevyr. There, he will be able to lead a life, appropriate for his species, in a huge compound and together with other bears.


According to information obtained by FOUR PAWS, at present in the Ukraine there are more than 40 bears held cruelly by private owners. On 3 February 2012, FOUR PAWS concluded an agreement with the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy , responsible for animal welfare, which confirms support for the rescue of those abused bears.Together with the Ukrainian authorities, VIER PFOTEN is now determined to save them. “Potap is already the second Ukrainian brown bear we were able to rescue”, says Dr. Amir Khalil, head of the project, “and we will move heaven and earth to free his many fellow sufferers out of their misery.”