Animal Charity



FOUR PAWS offer life-long protection for two Ukrainian bears

Having spent their entire lives kept in small cages, bears Anya and Frankie are now adjusting to very different lives. The global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has rescued the two brown bears and moved them to BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, Ukraine early this month.  

It is likely both bears have never known an existence outside of a cage. Both have been moved around various facilities during their short lives. For bear Anya her live started when she was privately kept before being moved to rundown Pokrovsk Zoo near the town of Donetsk. For bear Frankie he had a similarly tough start to life, born in a Ukrainian zoo he most likely faced a life of daily performances. After this he was moved to Pokrovsk Zoo where he met Anya. Says Magda Scherk-Trettin FOUR PAWS International project coordinator for bears: “The conditions at Pokrovsk Zoo were so bad that both bears were confiscated by authorities and were transferred to a temporary shelter early last year. Since then they have waited to be moved to a species-appropriate facility. We are so glad that they can now be free of the cages and bars that contained them for their early years and whilst they will never be able to be released into the wild we are confident that BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr can offer them the next best thing.”

Animal Charity

The rescue of the two bears was made possible due to the ongoing support from award-winning pet insurance provider Animal Friends. Having worked with FOUR PAWS since 2019 the insurer recently donated £25,000 to FOUR PAWS which has made a life-changing difference to Anya and Frankie and facilitated their transfer. For now, the bears are acclimatising to their new home in a semi-natural enclosure including a pool and lots of enrichment. They will be introduced to a bigger enclosure next year which they may share with other bears in the future. Anya and Frankie join 15 bears at Domazhyr.

Animal Charity

Magda continues: “For Anya and Frankie it’s likely to take them a while to adjust to this new environment but we are pleased at the signs they’re showing so far and are optimistic that their future will be a happy one with us at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr.”

Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK 

020 7922 7954 / 07966 032 235

7 - 14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR


FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orang-utans kept in inappropriate conditions. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly.