bear sanctuary DOMAZHYR



In May 2016, the foundation stone was laid for one of our youngest bear sanctuaries close to the Ukrainian city of Lviv (Lemberg): the BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. The first construction phase, covering 7.7 hectares, was completed in autumn 2017. The BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr will be extended in coming years to include further enclosures. The long-term plan is to create space for up to 30 bears now kept in conditions not appropriate for these animals. 

Visit our SANCTUARY Domazhyr

The sanctuary has been open for visitors since October 2017. Like all FOUR PAWS BEAR SANCTUARIES, BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr offers guided tours and exhibition tools for environmental education.

Bear-baiting banned since 2015

BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr currently provides a species-appropriate home and lifelong care for ten Ukrainian brown bears that were abused as baiting bears, kept in small cages next to restaurants to attract customers, or kept illegally in other inadequate conditions. The first bear, Potap, was rescued and transferred to the sanctuary in July 2017. Prior to his rescue, Potap was kept in a tiny cage near a restaurant and used to attract visitors. When the owner of the restaurant gave up his business, Potap was left behind and only fed provisionally by local activists. Now, he is receiving the care he deserves by FOUR PAWS experts.

The construction of the BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr represents an important step in stopping the keeping of bears for bear-baiting and improving the conditions of bears held in captivity in Ukraine. On the basis of our initiative, a new animal welfare law was adopted in 2015. Since then, forcing either wolves or bears to become fighting dogs has been prohibited. But bear-baiting continues illegally as it’s still allowed to keep bears on hunting stations.  By housing the last fighting bears in the BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, FOUR PAWS – with the support of the Ukrainian authorities – aims to put an end to this cruel practice once and for all. 

More information:

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for our rescued bears at our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr!


Impressions from Ukraine:

We were finally able to free Kvitka from the cage in a hunting station in Ukraine.

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