Jeta spent years being paraded around by her owner in the summer heat on a chain attached to a ring through her nose. She was led all over Albania’s beaches, towns and tourist spots for people to take selfies with her for a small fee. Every tug of the chain caused her great pain. When she wasn’t working, she spent miserable hours on a bare concrete floor, chained in a dark shed outside her owner’s house in Korca. In 2016, the Albanian authorities helped the FOUR PAWS veterinary team to free her. The team tranquillised the bear, fitted her with a microchip, removed her nose ring, and examined her. They found that the almost toothless bear had several raw and bleeding holes in her nose, was undernourished and suffering from an eye disease. Despite her weakened state, Jeta was able to make the trip to the zoo in Tirana.
No more selfies with Jeta under the burning sun
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Jeta's new life in DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa
In August 2017, Jeta was finally transferred to Dancing Bears Park Belitsa in Bulgaria, a sanctuary for dancing bears run by FOUR PAWS in cooperation with the French Brigitte Bardot Foundation. Once released into her spacious natural enclosure, Jeta recovered significantly and even went into hibernation in her first winter in Belitsa!
Helping Albanian Bears
Along with the creation of a sanctuary, a long-term solution for all bears in Albania requires the consistent implementation of existing laws and of the ban on the private keeping of bears. FOUR PAWS has launched an online petition to further encourage Albanian Environment Minister, Lefter Koka, to improve measures to protect bears both in the wild and in captivity.
Jeta will never have to wear that ring through her nose again