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Bear Cubs Receive First Check-Up Since Moving to BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina

Three other bears, who were already in BEAR SANCTUARY also received medical and dental check-ups

© FOUR PAWS | Ferki Citaku

May 5, 2014 - Earlier this month, five FOUR PAWS’ veterinarians, including with a veterinary Dentist, travelled to FOUR PAWS BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina to administer medical and dental check-ups to the all of the sanctuary’s six resident bears – including Ema, Oska and Ron, the three little cubs who were recently rescued in Kosovo.


The cubs were examined, their teeth were checked, and they each received a microchip implant.


The adult bears, Ero, Ari, Anik and Vini, were spayed and neutered, while Mal and Hana (two adolescent bears) also received thorough dental treatments.  

All six check-up reports show the bears to be in good health

© FOUR PAWS | Ferki Citaku

According to FOUR PAWS veterinarian, Dr. Johanna Painer, who had been involved in the previous check-ups, the bears are all making good progress. “Their fur is thicker now, and they’re playing with each other more than ever. They’re also demonstrating fewer behaviour problems, and they’re paying a lot of attention to their environment. All of this shows that their conditions have greatly improved since their last check-up in May 2013.”

It’s still unclear whether or not the three cubs will be able to be released into the wild

In order for this to work, the cubs have to have as little contact with humans as possible – although while they are so young, they still need to be well cared for, and can’t yet be left to their own devices. Oska, in particular, was in a critical condition for a long time. According to FOUR PAWS bears expert Carsten Hertwig, “We were really worried about Oska at the start, as he didn’t want to drink his milk, and he didn’t put on weight like Ema and Ron did. But we changed his milk, and that helped.” 

The FOUR PAWS team is currently looking into the possibility of releasing the cubs into the forests of Kosovo; however, until this is determined, they will, of course, remain in BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina, where presently, a one acre enclosure is being built for them. There, the FOUR PAWS team will be able to constantly monitor the three cubs. 

Since 2013, thirteen former restaurant bears have been living in BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina. Although the private keeping of bears has been banned in Kosovo since autumn 2010, cubs Ema, Oska, and Ron were discovered just recently. The three had been separated from their mother when they were only three weeks old. The police first became aware of Ema when a family posted details on Facebook about how they acquired the bear and how they were keeping her. Shortly afterwards, Oska and Ron also came to light. As all of the cubs are around the same age, it is thought that they may very well be siblings.

© FOUR PAWS | Ferki Citaku

FOUR PAWS Veterinarians at BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina for these check-ups: Dr. Joanna Painer, Dr. Frank Goritz, Dr. Nikola Kirianski and Dr. Selatin Mjeku, and Veterinary Dentist, Dr. Mark Loose.

© FOUR PAWS | Ferki Citaku