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Bears in Ukraine

There are about 100 brown bears living in very poor captive conditions across the Ukraine. Most of them are living in small cages next to restaurants, hotels or petrol stations. The bears are undernourished and ill. Many of them have to perform tricks to entertain tourists and are abused and forced to consume alcohol.

Bears are the largest land based carnivores on earth – solitary animals who roam huge areas in the wild. Many of the bears that we rescue from captivity suffer from medical disorders, physical deformities and behavioural issues caused by their inadequate keeping conditions. They can never be released into the wild.

On the 3rd August 2011, private bear keeping in Ukraine became prohibited. The Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy vowed to free all captive bears that are kept for entertainment purposes.


As part of this old tradition, captured and tamed bears perform in front of an audience. The Minister said that this was “inhumane and unacceptable today”.

FOUR PAWS is assisting the Ukrainian government with this huge operation, which will take up a huge amount of resources and a time to complete.