Parks and Sanctuaries
FOUR PAWS has established parks and sanctuaries as a solution for wild animals who were raised in captivity. FOUR PAWS policy states that the hunting, breeding and trading of wild animals is strictly prohibited, and it is applied throughout its parks. As a role model in the field of animal protection, all animals in FOUR PAWS parks and sanctuaries are prevented from breeding through contraceptive vaccines, spaying or neutering. All animals under FOUR PAWS care spend the rest of their lives in peace.
BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz (Germany)
BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany, is the youngest of the three FOUR PAWS parks. In 2007, the sanctuary was opened for the public. The sanctuary has a total of 27 acres and is home to 13 bears. For more information please visit http://www.baerenwald-mueritz.de/en.
DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa (Bulgaria)
Since its founding in 2000, the DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa has been giving a new home to former dancing bears from Bulgaria. This, the largest bear conservation area of its type in Europe, is located in the Rila mountain range and covers nearly 30 acres and houses 27 bears in natural terrain. This FOUR PAWS project is financially supported by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation.
BEAR ORPHAN STATION Harghita (Romania)
There are about 5,000 bears thought to be living in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains and in Transylvania. But the population of brown bears in Romania is threatened on a daily basis by poachers and by damage done to the brown bears’ habitat. BEAR ORPHAN STATION Harghita is a special bear conservation project located deep within the untouched countryside in northeastern Romania. Orphan bear cubs are raised in BEAR ORPHAN STATION Harghita without human influence. They are then released into the wild as soon as they are ready to fend for themselves.
BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina (Kosovo)
For many years, the Republic of Kosovo had no regulations concerning the keeping of brown bears. All privately-owned bears had to vegetate in small cages outside restaurants -- the idea being, to attract customers. FOUR PAWS brought this disgrace to the government’s attention over ten years ago.
In November 2010, when the ban on the private keeping of bears in the Republic of Kosovo finally came into effect, FOUR PAWS reacted immediately by offering the government its support in assuring a species-appropriate place for the “restaurant bears” to live. At that time, FOUR PAWS experts estimated there to be 15 brown bears being kept in miserable conditions.
Negotiations went well: a contract was signed giving FOUR PAWS the exclusive right to keep brown bears in the Republic of Kosovo. FOUR PAWS also secured an agreement with the capital, Prishtina, to use a near 40 acre area of woodland, free of charge.
The construction of a bear house with external enclosures, is almost complete. Over the next few months, FOUR PAWS will start on additional large enclosures, with ponds and hibernation caves. FOUR PAWS also plans to build an international center for animal welfare and nature conservation.
LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary (South Africa)
LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary, located in the Free State of South Africa, focuses primarily on big cats which were bred in captivity and subjected to unnatural conditions and neglect. As these animals cannot be returned to the wild, the purpose of the sanctuary is to create a habitat, environment and care structure, in which these predators can live for the rest of their lives.
LIONSROCK started with fewer than 20 lions. These lions were initially taken in when FOUR PAWS bought the 3,079 acres of land, which was a former breeding station. Now, LIONSROCK harbors more than 90 big cats, mainly lions, who have come from Europe, Jordan and South Africa. For more information please visit www.lionsrock.org.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (Africa)
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a charity located in the Tsavo National Park (East), Kenya, in Africa. The Trust’s speciality is the hand-rearing of elephant and rhino orphans. Other species are also catered for. FOUR PAWS supports a fully-equipped Mobile Veterinary Unit which provides rapid and effective help for animals in distress due to injury and/or sickness.
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) (Asia)
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), in Indonesia, in Asia, manages rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries for orangutans and other endangered animals. In 2007 FOUR PAWS decided to step in and support the center in Samboja Lestari. This center is home to more than 200 of these endangered, beautiful and intelligent great apes.