Some bears live and die in appalling captive conditions, caged or chained as tourist attractions or used for cruel blood sports like bear baiting. But for others, the suffering can and does end in a better future.
Bears raised in tiny enclosures and abusive situations are usually unable to adapt to a life in the wild. For these animals the best option is lifetime care in a sanctuary designed to allow them to behave as naturally as possible.
Our support for Milioane de Prieteni (‘A Million Friends’) means European brown bears that have spent their lives caged as tourist attractions can experience trees, pools and grass beneath their feet for the first time.
In Zarnesti, in the Carpathian countryside, bears learn to hibernate and interact with each other, freedoms that they have never known.
The sanctuary at Balkasar made possible by WSPA’s partnership with the Bioresource Research Center (BRC) is a haven for bears that have suffered some of the worst animal cruelty imaginable: the baiting arena.
The tranquility of the pools and large, grassy enclosures could not be further removed from the suffering they have experienced.
Both nations have animal cruelty legislation that enables the removal of bears from poor welfare conditions, but until WSPA and these dedicated local organizations came together there was nowhere for these bears, so in need of a more natural and peaceful home, to go.
WSPA supporters have improved and protected the welfare of many vulnerable bears.
But more of these incredible animals need your help.
Please support our urgent efforts to end bear baiting in Pakistan and to ensure that every remaining captive bear in Romania is transferred to the Zarnesti sanctuary.
Donate to WSPA today >>
We receive frequent updates from both sanctuaries, especially as new bears are rescued, so look out for updated information in our latest news section.