Brown bear Vesko

Nov 2019


Rescue Bear Vesko

A victim of uncontrolled breeding in Bulgaria


On 15th of November 2019, bear Vesko was transferred to BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa, which is run in cooperation with FONDATION BRIGITTE BARDOT.

The transfer went smoothly, however Vesko showed very strong stereotypical behavior during the first days of his arrival. It took a few days for him to become more familiar with the new environment, so he stayed indoors and the team had him under their observation constantly. Vesko suffers from reduced gastrointestinal motility, therefore the team is treating him with several medications.

On 28th of November, it was a big day for Vesko, he was ready to take the first steps outdoors, and to leave his past behind him!

The team was very happy to see him so relaxed and with so much confidence exploring his new home. First, he marked a few trees and gradually started picking up the fruits and vegetables that the team placed earlier in his enclosure. Vesko seems to have a great appetite and he is eating everything offered to him, apart from kiwis.

Life in the past

For years this brown bear was kept in a temporary enclosure of Zoo Sofia, which does not provide sufficient space and species-appropriate living conditions. The zoo was aware of this unfortunate situation and searched for alternative solutions, however, due to Vesko's difficult health situation, all attempts failed.

Born in 2010, he was a victim of uncontrolled breeding. In 2011, Zoo Sofia got the bear from Zoo Varna, who weren't able to provide enough space and species-appropriate living conditions for Vesko.

In order to support the aim of Zoo Sofia to improve his situation, and upon request of the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water, FOUR PAWS took Vesko to BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa, which is run in cooperation with FONDATION BRIGITTE BARDOT. A vet check revealed that Vesko suffers from reduced gastrointestinal motility, therefore he is quite thin. In BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa, Vesko will now be monitored closely and treated with several medications within the next weeks.

Update June 2020

We are astonished by Vesko's fast progress, in the short time since he was rescued late last year, he had progressed and changed so much! Recently, he was introduced to another bear, Rada. The team at BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa monitored the bears closely during the past weeks and decided that their personalities were compatible matches. The bears were living in neighbouring enclosures for a week before to their introduction, separated by a fence, this way they were able to feel the presence of each other without having a direct interaction. 

As Vesko never had the chance to live with another bear before, it was quite challenging for the team to predict how successful the process will be. However, since the very first moments of the bears getting together, everything went smoothly!

Today we can see them very often cuddling together in the cave, as it is cooler during the hot days or playing in the evening. These two bears are two happy souls!

Rada (left) and Vesko (right)
Vesko (left) and Rada (right)

One year on - Vesko's transformation into a happy bear!

Upon Vesko's arrival at BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa, he was very stressed and showed strong stereotypical behaviour. Today, a year on Vesko has transformed into a beautiful and playful bear who enjoys his new life to the fullest, he is able to enjoy the sun and natural surroundings in his new home with his companion Rada. 

Thank you to all our amazing donors who help animals like Vesko discover a kinder life.

Happy bear runing

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