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New home for Gjina, Pashuk and Tomi

UPDATE: 10-28-2016 -  Check out these before and afters of the 3 rescued Albanian bears. 

UPDATE: 10 - 20 2016-  How are the three bears from Albania doing?


Update on Gjina

Gjina is still spending more time inside than outside. But, compared to the first days following her arrival, the improvements she has made are immensely impressive. Our keepers noticed that she especially likes apples (perhaps she heard they keep the dentist away?!), but, as yet, doesn’t seem to be thrilled by the activities our colleagues prepare for her. It's still all new to her though, so we shall continue to monitor her progress, and will watch with interest when she is ready to explore everything we can offer her.


Check out the short video below that shows us taking poor Gjina out of her depressing concrete cage and her first steps out into her new home!

Bear Tomi

Since the very first day he arrived at our Bear Sanctuary, Tomi has been exceptionally relaxed. He enjoys everything about his new home, and eats every kind of fruit or vegetable our keepers offer him. Most of the time, you'll find Tomi outside, bathing in his pool and relaxing in the sun as if on vacation! He is really curious about every new experience he is offered. Tomi has a playful sense about him and gives our sanctuary caretakers plenty to laugh at and take pictures of!


Bear Pashuk

We are so happy for Pashuk, who has made great improvements since first arriving at the Bear Sanctuary. Initially, he hesitated to go outside, but now it seems that he feels comfortable in his outdoor enclosure. It’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago he had a chain around his neck and lived in a small cage! Thankfully, the wound around his neck seems to have healed completely, and the fur is growing back fast. Pashuk loves spending time with his toys, and you often see him playing with one in particular: a big trunk…sprinkled with honey!


Update: 7-19-2016 - Tomi, Gjina and Pashuk are on the road to recovery!


Regularly we get updates from our dear colleagues at our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina about their newest inhabitants Tomi, Pashuk and Gjina.

Tomi ist spending much time outside.

Update Tomi

Tomi has been showing signs of relaxation. Since his arrival in Prishtina, he has not missed one meal. He loves to eat, swim in his pool and is be curious about his enclosure. He also got used to his neighbors Kassanda, Vini and Stivi, which he met through the fence.

Tomi is exploring his enclosure.

Tomi also met his neighbours already.

Update Pashuk

Upon his arrival at our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina, Pashuk was still very stressed. He ran around nervously in his inside enclosure and left it only at night when the other bears were asleep.


At the beginning of this week, we could watch Pashuk as he stepped outside for the first time and stayed there during the day. He seemed more relaxed than the days before. The keepers prepared enrichments of fruits and honey, which Pashuk indulged right away. We are very happy about this great development!

Pashuk finally enjoys the nature at our Bear Sanctuary Pristhina!

Update Gjina


The former beer bear Gjina is in the worst condition, out of the three rescued bears from Albania. She is very underweight with weighing only 100kg. Gjina is still very stressed and only leaves her inside enclosure for eating or during night times. Nevertheless, Gjina is also making steps to her recovery: in the past few days she has not been running around in such a nervous way than before. Many years in a six square meter small cage have left their mark. The bear needs much time and rest to leave her old life behind. BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina is providing her with everything she needs for her recovery!


Read more on Bear Gjina's story here.

Gjina hesitates to go outside.

Update: 9-27-2016 - Tomi and Gjina are already in their outdoor enclosures!


The first steps have been taken: Finally Gjina and Tomi have entered their new home in BÄRENWALD Prishtina. Tomi has even discovered water for himself. Pashuk has not yet dared to get out, but the door to the outdoor enclosure is already open. He can take as much time as he wants, we do not want to stress him. More photos will follow shortly.

Meanwhile, you can check out the first steps of Gjina and Tomi on our Facebook page. Do not miss these moments!


Gjina is enjoying her fruits in the sun.
© FOUR PAWS | Hazir Reka

Tomi had his first dip in a pool.
© FOUR PAWS | Hazir Reka

WHAT A MOMENT! Tomi's first contact with water! We can't believe he is finally in his new enclosure at our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina! 💕

Ein von FOUR PAWS | VIER PFOTEN (@four_paws_international) gepostetes Video am

Together with the bears our two teams met at the border to Kosovo.

Update: 9-27-2016 - Finally arrived!


Last night all three bears arrived save and sound at our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina. They stayed in their indoor enclosures overnight, but in a few hours already, we will offer them go outside in their outdoor enclosure! We are so excited, to find out who dares to get out and can not wait to show Pashuk, Tomi and Gjina their new home! 

If you want to help them start to the new life, you are welcome to donate for the bears!


Medically examined and ready to be transported to the new home.

Two FOUR PAWS teams are now in Albania, to transport the three bears Gjina, Tomi and Pashuk in our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina. In cooperation with the Albanian Ministry of Environment, the three bears were already medically examined, anesthetized and loaded into the transport boxes.

Gjina is finally save!!

From the zoo in Tirana, it is time for the bears Tomi and Pashuk to move into our BEAR SANCTUARY in Kosovo. There the animals have a close to nature home with greenery, a pool to splash around and finally species-appropriate food. Gone are the days in tiny cages, next to the restaurant where many tourists could take pictures of the bears behind bars.

Thanks also to the zoo Tirana, who provided everything for the two bears in the final weeks. We can't wait for the bears to finally take their first steps into their new lives. We will keep you up to date as always.

For more updates, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Tomi and Pashuk on their way home.

Update: 9 -1 - 2016 - Pashuk and Tomi are doing fine 


Pashuk and Tomi, the two bears we worked with the Albanian Environment Ministry to rescue from their appalling conditions, are doing fine in their temporary home at Tirana Zoo. As soon as we have all papers finalised, we'll transfer them to our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina in Kosovo, where they will find a species-appropriate and lifelong home. 


The chained bear Pashuk.
© FOUR PAWS | Hazir Reka

Update:  8 -31 -2016 - Pashuk alive!


Our team arrived in time and was relieved that Pashuk was still able to stand on his legs! Unfortunately, the chain was still around his neck. Our vets examined and treated him immediately. The chain had grown in so deeply, it was really nerve-wracking! Our vets had to work really hard to free him from the chain. 

Pashuk ready for the transport to Zoo Tirana.

Thanks to the good cooperation with the Albanian ministry Pashuk had been confiscated and transferred to Zoo Tirana. As soon as the papers are ready, he will be transfered to our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina.


Our bear expert Carsten Hertwig is shocked: “I saw many suffering bears, but I have never seen anything like this. The chain was grown in so deeply that the skin had already grown over it. His owners had put Pashuk on the chain when he was still small, locked him in the shed and never removed the chain ever since.”

If you want to help the saddest bears in Europe, please sign our petition and encourage the Albanian Minister of Environment to implement and enforce a ban on cruel keeping!

Dr. Frank Goeritz anaesthetises bear Tomi to get him vaccinated and microchipped.

Update: 8 -30 -2016 - The Albanian ministry confiscated Tomi!


SUCCESS: the Albanian ministry has just confiscated Tomi and we are now bringing him to his temporary home at Tirana zoo. As soon as the papers are ready, we will transfer him to our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina! There Tomi will get a beautiful enclosure and can finally enjoy a happy life in appropriate surroundings! 

Arrived at Tirana Zoo.

A few days ago we were in Gaza, now a FOUR PAWS team is in Albania to help the bears there. Today a lot will happen and we try to keep you updated on Facebook  and Snapchat (fourpawsint).

© FOUR PAWS | Hazir Reka

If you want to help the saddest bears in Europe, please sign our petition and encourage the Albanian Minister of Environment to implement and enforce a ban on cruel keeping!