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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)

© FOUR PAWS | Sabine Vielmo

BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany, is the largest bear sanctuary in Western Europe. The sanctuary has been open since 2006 and is roughly 40 acres. It is currently home to 16 bears. For more information please visit

DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa (Bulgaria)

© FOUR PAWS International/Cher

Since its founding in 2000, the DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa has been giving a new home to former dancing bears from Bulgaria and other countries. It is located in the Rila mountain range and covers nearly 30 acres. It currently houses 25 bears in natural terrain. This FOUR PAWS sanctuary is managed in partnership with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation.

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 FOUR PAWS Bear Sanctuary Phristina opened in 2013. It is located on roughly 25 acres with future expansion planned for the full 40 acres. It is currently home to 19 bears.

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

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.