FOUR PAWS has operated in Serbia for many years to help bears kept in bad conditions.
With significant success:
Together with the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection, FOUR PAWS has put an end to the keeping of dancing bears in Serbia and rescued and transferred the last Serbian circus bears to sanctuaries in Germany and Switzerland.
While the official and successful cooperation expired in 2023, FOUR PAWS has offered the local authorities continued support to help bears but also big cats in poor captivity in Serbia.
Timeline of our activities and achievements
Two of the Serbian circus bears, Pavle and Sylvia, are transferred to BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in Germany.
Together with Serbian authorities, FOUR PAWS rescues the last three circus bears. The animal welfare organisation expresses its willingness to assume care of the animals as soon as procedures concerning their permanent home are completed. In the meantime, the bears are housed temporarily in Serbian zoos.
FOUR PAWS and the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection sign a joint declaration of intent with the goal of ending the keeping of bears in Serbia in conditions unsuited to the species and finding homes for confiscated wild animals.
FOUR PAWS supports the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection during the transfer of three bear orphans to a bear rescue centre in Romania.
The Serbian government introduces a general ban on wild animals in circuses.
FOUR PAWS transfers the last three Serbian dancing bears to BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa (former DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa), marking the end of the keeping of dancing bears in Serbia. The Bulgarian sanctuary is run in cooperation with the French Brigitte Bardot Foundation and is funded by both organisations.