Luna, a four to five-year-old female, lived in a tiny, filthy cage in the Aulona amusement park in Vlore in southern Albania. She was constantly exposed to the sun, the heat, the rain and the cold and also to deafening music and noise from the visitors and rides in the park. Amusement bear Luna used to be one of Europe’s saddest bears and was forced to spend miserable years in captivity. Fortunately, her suffering is over. She was rescued in 2016 by a FOUR PAWS team in cooperation with the Albanian Environment Ministry and local authorities. She was first transferred to Tirana Zoo where she spent the winter, with proper food and medical care.
“We wish to thank the Albanian Environment Ministry and the local authorities for actively supporting the rescue of Luna and Jeta. We were able to transfer them to the Tirana Zoo and nurse them back to health."
Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS wild animal expert
Luna's days as a tourist attraction are fortunately over
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The day of her rescue was dramatic: in the presence of police and the local veterinary inspector, the FOUR PAWS team was able to tranquillise the bear, examine her, fit her with a microchip, and bring her to the zoo in Tirana in an animal ambulance. Although Albanian authorities had already seized her a short time previously, the owner took a lot of persuading to finally let her go.
A new life at BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz
Luna was transferred to BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in Austria where, in contrast to her former small and noisy cage, her environment is now quiet and near-natural and provides numerous distractions and species-appropriate food. She felt comfortable immediately. Only months after we had placed her in the sanctuary, she even dug her own den to hibernate in during winter.
Luna definitely looks much better in her new spacious compound than in the tiny cage she was kept in