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The Last Circus Bear in Poland is Finally Rescued


Animal protection groups join efforts to save the famous Baloo

 

BOSTON, MA JULY 7 2016 - After years of severely inadequate keeping conditions, and being forced to perform tricks to amuse visitors at the Polish “Vegas” circus, a team from FOUR PAWS and the Polish animal welfare organization Viva! were finally able to rescue the only circus bear in Poland.

 

The team arrived in Pawlowice, Poland early in the morning Tuesday and took charge of the bear after it was confiscated by the local police. Baloo had to live his life in a tiny cage with a small outdoor enclosure. During his performances, he was fed with junk food to entertain visitors. Luckily, the circus owner was cooperative and the transfer of Baloo (along with other animals including a caiman and some turtles) went well. The bear is now safely accommodated in the Poznan Zoo, a cooperation partner of FOUR PAWS International. But, as there is not enough space to keep the bear permanently, FOUR PAWS and Viva! are trying to get permission from the Polish authorities to transfer Baloo to BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in Germany, a sanctuary run by FOUR PAWS.

 

Carsten Hertwig, bear expert at FOUR PAWS, explained, “We are trying to find the best solution for Baloo and are gladly offering him a place at BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz. Here, Baloo would finally have the chance to live in a close-to-natural environment.”

 

FOUR PAWS is working closely with the Polish animal welfare organization, Viva!, which has organized all the necessary legal steps to ensure the confiscation. Despite there being no general ban on wild animals in circuses in Poland, the circus “Vegas“ has violated several Polish laws in regards to animal welfare and security standards. Anna Plaszczyk from Viva! stated “Baloo has been living under harsh conditions in a small circus cage since May 2014. He lacked species appropriate food and proper veterinary care. Even the bear cage itself lacked in regards to security standards. All these facts should be enough to forbid the circus to own new bears in the future. In fact the law proceeding in this case could take up to two years.”

 

About FOUR PAWS’ Bears

 

FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organization that fights animal injustices around the world through rescue and refuge, education and advocacy. FOUR PAWS envisions a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding and has already been improving bear keeping in Poland since 2011.

 

BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz

 

BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz the largest bear sanctuary in Western Europe offering a habitat that mimics natural habitat of bears: Diversified landscapes of mixed woodland, meadow, clearings, hillsides, and a natural stream. These are optimal conditions for brown bears to rediscover their natural behaviour. Sixteen bears currently live in 16 hectares of open-air enclosure maintained by FOUR PAWS since 2006. At that time the animal welfare organization saved three animals from catastrophic conditions and transferred them to the BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz.

 

Check out FOUR PAWS’ interactive site and take a tour of our bear sanctuaries:

http://www.vier-pfoten.at/awakening/Web/index_en.html


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