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Kasia and Basia saved from illegal keeping in Poland


Female bears Kasia and Basia have been transferred to the FOUR PAWS Muritz sanctuary in Germany. The animals had been kept without a licence and were forced to endure unsuitable conditions in a zoo in Poland. After researchers found no animal friendly keeping alternative for the two afflicted bears within Poland, the decision was made to transfer them across the border to Muritz. The FOUR PAWS bear refuge  had reopened to the public earlier this year, after extension works had doubled the available space and made it possible to take in new arrivals.

During the five hour drive, the animals were in the care of Dr. Goeritz, a wild animal veterinarian of the Berlin Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research, as well as an experienced FOUR PAWS team. Kasia and Basia endured the journey without problems and no signs of stress. Just before departure, blood and faeces samples were taken in order to get an accurate picture of the brown bears’ health. Within the next few weeks, treatment will be administered based on these results. The females – aged 15 and 27 – were kept at a zoo in Leszno, Western Poland, in an concrete and iron environment of only 60 square metres,with no hiding space  to escape the public's gaze. Their health was massively impaired by the very low hygienic standards and constant malnutrition, as the result of a diet which mainly consisted of starchy white bread. In 2009, another bear had already died as a direct result of the bad keeping conditions.

Time to settle in at the sanctuary

Once they reached the Muritz sanctuary, the two animals were first released into an area in which they can be easily monitored. The team on site is confident that the animals will get used to their new surroundings very quickly and their mental and physical state will greatly improve because of the outstanding conditions there. Along with Kasia and Basia, there are now thirteen bears at the FOUR PAWS German sanctuary.


The rescue