Elephant peeping

Emergency transfer of seven bears in Ukraine 

FOUR PAWS takes in animals from partner organisation in Kyiv region


Domazhyr, 7th March 2022 – After a 24-hour trip across half of the country, seven bears have arrived safe and sound in BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr in western Ukraine.  

Due to the increasingly dangerous situation in Ukraine, two female and one male bear and two cubs were moved from White Rock Shelter in Kyiv region to FOUR PAWS sanctuary in Domazhyr on Saturday. 

The next day two more bears followed in their tracks and now all are adjusting to their new surroundings. 

All seven new additions to BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr seem to be in good health.  

On Friday evening the first truck with male brown bear Synochok, female Himalayan-brown bear Chada, female Himalayan-black bear Malvina and her two cubs, set off from near the capital Kyiv to western Ukraine.  

During these journeys, the trucks with the animals, who were kept in species-appropriate crates, had to pause several times due to road checkpoints.  

“FOUR PAWS is pleased to have been able to help our friends at White Rock Shelter in what small way we can, during such an unprecedented and difficult time.   


“In addition to the 29 bears that BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr was already housing, these seven bears can count on our care. Their safety, as well that of our staff on the ground, is of the utmost importance to us.”  

Sonul Badiani-Hamment, UK Country Director, FOUR PAWS UK

Support when it is needed 

This is not the first time FOUR PAWS has worked with White Rock Shelter. 

In May 2021 five bear cubs were rescued by local NGO Save Wild Fund from a contact zoo and were brought to White Rock Shelter. 

FOUR PAWS took over and rehomed three of those bear cubs in July 2021 at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. 

Now, the remaining two cubs are the ones that arrived today. They will stay at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr  until a permanent solution can be found.  


FOUR PAWS officially opened BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr for visitors in October 2017. 

34 bears, including the five new arrivals, rescued from catastrophic keeping conditions now live on the 15-hectare site. 

With the construction of BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, FOUR PAWS has created a species-appropriate home for rescued bears, supporting the Ukrainian government with enforcing the ban on cruel practice of bear baiting in the country. 

For this purpose, bears are chained and abused as bait objects for the training of hunting dogs. 

The bear sanctuary also provides a home for individual animals rescued from other cruel forms of bear keeping. 

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Head of Communications UK: Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK


020 7922 7954

07966 032 235

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


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