The young male brown bear called Teddy is kept in Zoo Shtip (North Macedonia) in a tiny concrete cage of only a few square meters size. With hardly any shelter from sun and rain, and lack of space, exercise and enrichment, Teddy’s life is marked by boredom and tristesse. Being four years old only, Teddy already has a long story of suffering behind him. Being separated from his mother and taken from the wild when he was a cub, Teddy was raised in private captivity in the backyard of a house in North Macedonia. There he lived in a very tiny cage where he could barely move or even run. In autumn 2017, the bear has been handed over to the Zoo Shtip, because he became too big to handle for his owner.
Unfortunately Teddys life did not improve significantly upon his arrival at the zoo. He was put in an unsuitable cage and is being kept in poor conditions still, although the zoo does not even have a license for keeping brown bears in captivity. The improper keeping and lack of professional medical care already left its traces: due to the permanent walking on wet concrete the skin of Teddy’s paws is infected, and the biting on metal bars and mesh wire already caused damages to his teeth.
Teddy needs to be relocated to a safe place immediately, not only because of the miserable conditions in which he is kept but also because of the high risk of the animal breaking out, as the cage is rusty and not safe anymore.
We at FOUR PAWS have made it our mission to save and relocate Teddy to DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa, in Bulgaria, as soon as possible. At this sanctuary, which is run in cooperation with the French Fondation Brigitte Bardot, Teddy will be able to receive the care and support he desperately needs, such as proper nutrition and medical care.
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FOUR PAWS' engagement for captive bears in South East Europe
FOUR PAWS has already helped many bears in Southeast Europe, and rescued some of them from catastrophic conditions. So far FOUR PAWS successfully ended the cruel practice of keeping dancing bears in Bulgaria and Serbia, and the keeping of bears outside of restaurants in Kosovo. With Teddys rescue, FOUR PAWS now aims to make a first step with ending the private and not-species appropriate captivity of brown bears in North Macedonia. The private, not officially authorized keeping of bears is banned by law in North Macedonia, but so far this ban has been insufficiently enforced because of the lack of species-appropriate accommodations for wild animals on site. For the future FOUR PAWS plans to further establish a good collaboration with local authorities in order to be able to help further bears in need in North Macedonia.