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UPDATE: 9/14/2017

Soon we will be finished with the first construction phase at our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr in Ukraine. Two rescued bears have already found a new home there, and in mid-October the sanctuary will open its doors for visitors. Read more about it here. Read more about it here.


Due to limited capacities, FOUR PAWS won’t be able to run two bear rescue facilities simultaneously in Ukraine, but fortunately, a solution has already been found: The shelter in Berezivka will continue to operate but under another management and another name. Together with local NGO “SaveWild Fund” it’s been agreed that the BEAR RESCUE CENTRE Nadiya will be taken over and managed by them from now on. The five bears which FOUR PAWS rescued and kept in Berezivka  ­–  namely; Bodiya, Nastia, Masha, Zoya and Julia –  will be gradually transferred to the new FOUR PAWS BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr within the next months so that the shelter in Berezivka – newly named Bear Shelter WHITE ROCK –  is able to provide space for more bears in need. This is highly necessary because there are still more than a hundred bears suffering in poor captivity in Ukraine.


FOUR PAWS highly appreciates this solution, not only because more space for the rescue of bears is being created in Ukraine but also because “SaveWild Fund” agreed to run the shelter in close consultation with us so that a professional level of bear management will be further guaranteed in future.

BEAR SANCTUARY Nadiya in Zhytomyr offers refuge to previously mistreated animals in northern Ukraine.

FOUR PAWS built BEAR SANCTUARY Nadiya in 2012 and five bears currently live there. They include two bear cubs named Nastia and Bodia, Masha who was previously exploited by bear-baiters, and two former circus bears named Zoya and Julya, who were privately owned. Zoya and Julya were kept in the back of a truck in someone’s backyard garden until their rescue in 2015.


Masha was rescued and brought to Zhytomyr in 2012 after she had been used for an entire year as live bait to train hunting dogs.

The small Bodia climbing in BEAR SANCTUARY Nadiya.

Bear cub Nastia, born in 2012, was barely a few weeks old when she was brutally snatched away from her mother and sold to Lutsk Zoo by unscrupulous animal traders. Fortunately, FOUR PAWS was able to save Nastia and brought her to Zhytomyr in November 2012.


Bodia, who is a similar age to Nastia, was also separated from her mother at a very young age by illegal traders and was sold to a Ukrainian TV station in an undercover operation. Consequently, the TV station informed FOUR PAWS and finally, in July 2013, Bodia was relocated to the BEAR SANCTUARY at Zhytomyr. Despite their terrible past, both cubs have made fantastic progress: they climb, romp and rave, and swim! After an appropriate amount of time getting used to one another, both bear cubs are now socialized and have therefore been reunited. Now the bear cubs can go on climbing trips and adventures together and look after each other at the same time.

To learn more, check out the Facebook page of the bear projects in the Ukraine!