Male bear in Bahkmut, Ukraine

Emergency rescue of abandoned bear in Ukraine

FOUR PAWS takes in bear from war-torn Donetsk region at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr


London/Domazhyr, 8 September 2022 –A male brown bear, who was abandoned at a private location in the war-torn Donetsk region, was brought to safety today by global animal welfare organization, FOUR PAWS.   

Stressed and malnourished, the bear was found and fed by the Ukrainian military over the last few days. He longer had a home after the roof was damaged by shelling fragments.  

After the Ukrainian military was unable to continue feeding the bear, they informed local partner organization, Wild Animal Rescue who immediately reached out to FOUR PAWS to support the rescue and rehoming. 

"We are very happy that we could take in the bear at the last minute as he was already very weak.  


“With hibernation season due to start soon, we must act quickly to decide if the bear can stay at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. The location for his ongoing care will also depend on the medical assessment scheduled for tomorrow. One thing is certain though, we will make sure the bear can live a species-appropriate life from now on, either in our care or in a similarly suitable bear sanctuary.” 

Barbara van Genne, responsible for Wild Animal Rescue and Advocacy at FOUR PAWS

The emergency transport of the bear was carried out by Wild Animal Rescue, who safely brought the exhausted animal into the safe custody of BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, which is located in the western part of the country.  

BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr: A home for rescued bears

FOUR PAWS officially opened BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr for visitors in October 2017. 31 bears rescued from catastrophic keeping conditions now live on the 15-hectare site, including this newest arrival.  

In BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, FOUR PAWS has created a species-appropriate home for rescued bears, originally supporting the Ukrainian government with enforcing the ban on cruel practice of bear baiting in the country. This is where bears are chained and abused as bait objects for the training of hunting dogs. Now, the bear sanctuary also provides a home for individual animals rescued from other cruel forms of bear keeping as well.       

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Head of Communications UK: Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK

020 7922 7954

07966 032 235

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