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Belitsa Sanctuary

Dancing Bears Park Belitsa is the largest of FOUR PAWS’ bear sanctuaries and the largest bear conservation area of its type in Europe. The sanctuary is near the town of Belitsa in South West Bulgaria. It is located in the Rila mountain range about 170 km south-east of Sofia and covers over 120,000 square metres.


It is home to 25 rescued bears, 20 of which used to be dancing bears.


The Belitsa sanctuary has become a popular tourist attraction with local travel agencies organising tours. It is a fantastic day out for people who want to learn more about rescued bears and see them in their natural habitat. We run hourly expert guided tours so you can learn about how the bears live and ask questions. The sanctuary is also near the famous Rila Monastery, which is regarded as a key tourist attraction in Bulgaria.


“The park is just beautiful. The bears languish in lush green woods, with a river and pool in each enclosure. Food is put out for them as part of an enrichment program to keep them busy during the day. Seeing them sleeping in the sun, playing in the water and being free from pain and torture was incredibly moving. We are determined to return to Belitsa to visit "our bears". FOUR PAWS really are fantastic, such amazing work".  Sue , UK

Please email Belitsa for information on visiting the sanctuary.

The Belitsa sanctuary is also part financed by the Brigette Bardot Foundation.