A safe haven for former dancing bears in Bulgaria

DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa is located in Rila Mountain at about 180 km south of Sofia, 12 km from town Belitsa and about 35km from Bansko. The sanctuary is being run in cooperation with French Brigitte Bardot Foundation and currently being funded by both organizations.  The whole area of the sanctuary comprises 120,000 m², divided into seven open air enclosures for the bears in which most of them live in pairs or groups.

Since 2000, 31 former dancing bears from Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania rescued and housed in DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa.   

visit the DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa

DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa can be visited only in frame of a guided tour from 1st of April until 1st of December.

Since 2000 DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa has provided mistreated and neglected bears with a safe and natural home. The sanctuary provides an appropriate, lifelong home for brown bears that were kept in inadequate conditions, especially for those bears that have been raised and trained as dancing bears. When the sanctuary was established in 2000, there were more than 20 bears still being forced to “dance” for entertainment of people in Bulgaria and Serbia, even though this cruel practice was forbidden by law. FOUR PAWS decided to take measures against the gruesome illegal practice, and – in cooperation with French Brigitte Bardot Foundation – established DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa as a lasting solution for rescuing and housing all these bears. 

The keeping of dancing bears has a long tradition in Bulgaria. Thanks to the FOUR PAWS initiative and its adoption of the country's last three dancing bears in 2007, we were able to end this practice in Bulgaria once and for all. The torturous training of bears was already banned in 1998. But a decade later, many bears were still living in chains.  

More information:

Andrianov Chark Area
Belitsa, District Blagoevgrad


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for our rescued bears in the DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa


Riku's new life in DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa

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