For many years, the Republic of Kosovo had no regulations on the keeping of brown bears. As a result, numerous bears languished in small cages in the vicinity of restaurants and hotels where they were meant to attract visitors. FOUR PAWS drew the government's attention to this situation over ten years ago.
Private keeping of bears banned in Kosovo
When the private keeping of bears was at last banned in Kosovo in November 2010, we responded immediately by offering the government our support in housing the 'restaurant bears' in an animal-friendly way. Our experts established that 15 brown bears were being kept in miserable conditions in Kosovo at that time.
Negotiations ended successfully: we signed an exclusive contract guaranteeing that FOUR PAWS would be the only organisation in Kosovo allowed to keep brown bears. In the meantime, all the restaurant bears have found a new home in the BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina.
visit our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina
April to October: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
November to March: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
The newest inhabitants of our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina are Tomi, Pashuk and Gjina. We rescued the three bears from Albania in 2016 and transferred them to Kosovo. They had all been kept as so-called 'restaurant bears', languishing in tiny cages. The living 'attractions' were meant to draw visitors who would buy beer for them to drink for the purpose of entertainment. The three young bears had to consume up to 15 beers a day.
Since October 2016, they have been living in the BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina and have gradually become accustomed to their new 'freedom'. Two bears who had displayed evident behavioural problems – Pashuk and Gjina – have settled down so well that in summer 2017 they were socialised together.
Our campaign #saddestbears now aims to initiate a ban on the private keeping of bears in Albania.