The male brown bear is approx. 3-4 years old, and kept in Zoo Shtip (North Macedonia) in a tiny rusty cage of approx. 40 square meters. In autumn 2017, the bear has been handed over to the zoo by a private person who claimed to have found the bear as a cub in the wild and raised it in private captivity until the bear became too big to handle.
At the end of 2019, FOUR PAWS was informed about the alarming situation of Teddy in Shtip Zoo, and that the bear was reported to be starving. FOUR PAWS immediately investigated the situation of bear Teddy onsite and found out that fortunately the bear is not starving. However, he needs to be relocated urgently, due to the miserable conditions in which he is kept as well as the high risk of the animal breaking out, as the cage is not safe.
We at FOUR PAWS have made it our mission to save and relocate Teddy to DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa, in Bulgaria, as soon as possible. At this sanctuary, which is run in cooperation with the French Brigitte Bardot Foundation, Teddy will be able to receive the care and support he desperately needs, such as proper nutrition and medical care. We keep you updated!
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Furthermore, the keeping of Teddy has to be regarded as illegal, because the zoo has no license for keeping bears in captivity.
The private keeping of bears is banned by law in Northern Macedonia, but so far this ban has been insufficiently enforced. The mayor of Shtip therefore also agrees to close down the keeping and relocate the bear to a more species-appropriate place.
A first short vet-check on site performed by veterinarian Marc Gölkel (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin) in January 2020, revealed that the overall health condition of Teddy is good, but due to the permanent walking on wet concrete the skin of Teddy’s paws is infected, and the biting on metal bars and mesh wire already caused damages to his teeth. Besides, the keeping conditions of the bear are inadequate, due to the lack of space, enrichment and exercise, but also the improper nutrition and lack of professional medical care.