For many years the Republic of Kosovo had no regulations covering the keeping of brown bears. All privately-owned bears had to vegetate in small cages outside restaurants for the purpose of attracting customers. FOUR PAWS first brought this disgraceful situation to the government’s attention over ten years ago.
Private keeping of bears banned in the Republic of Kosovo
In November 2010, when the ban on the private keeping of bears in the Republic of Kosovo finally came into force, we reacted immediately by offering the government our support in assuring a species-appropriate place for the “restaurant bears” to live. At that time, our experts estimated there to be 15 brown bears being kept in these miserable conditions.
Negotiations went well: a contract was signed giving FOUR PAWS the exclusive right to keep brown bears in the Republic of Kosovo. We also secured an agreement with the capital, Prishtina, to use a 16-hectare area of woodland free of charge.
The construction of a bear house with external enclosures is almost complete. Over the next few months work will start on additional large enclosures, with ponds and hibernation caves. We also plan to build an international centre for animal welfare and nature conservation.
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