Rocco's journey started on June 5th in Albania when he was finally released from his cage. Rocco's owner had attained the bear as a young cub and was keeping him as a pet in a tiny cage in a private estate in Elbasan, in Albania.
He lived in a 40 square foot small rusted metal enclosure. He was forced to live on a concrete floor and no protection from wind, sun and rain. After eight years, the bear's care became too expensive for the owner, so he decided to contact the local veterinary authority.
Fortunately, FOUR PAWS received permission to take him over. During the transfer, our vet team took care of his well-being. After a 40-hour journey through nine countries, they arrived at our BEAR SANCTUARY Mueritz on June 7th.
Our vet confirms that Rocco is in good health condition, although he is slightly underweight, suggesting that he did not get much to eat in the past.
Now a new life begins for Rocco: In the natural environment of the BEAR SANCTUARY Mueritz, he had found a forever home.
"We are happy that we finally got Rocco to his new home. Our team at the sanctuary is specialised for the care he needs now. After years of suffering in bad conditions, Rocco will come to rest, have room to move around and live a bear-friendly life. At the BEAR SANCTUARY Mueritz, he will finally discover how to live out his natural instincts."
Carsten Hertwig, Bear Expert at FOUR PAWS International
A life in society and peace
Our bear Rocco is making progress every day. Since his arrival, he has became much more calm, especially towards other bears like bear Luna. He demonstrates a good appetite and builds up his strength by playing with the trunks that are lying in his enclosure. Nevertheless, he still gets nervous and anxious when he is exposed to loud noises. This comes as no surprise, considering that the bear was kept isolated in a small cage in a secluded backyard for years. For next week we are planning to expand Rocco's enclosure, thereby giving him access to more than 1804 square feet of space to roam around.
The fate of the saddest bear
FOUR PAWS works tirelessly to improve the situation of bears in captivity in Europe and Vietnam. Sadly still, hundreds of bears are living under bad keeping conditions. Our goal is to improve the living conditions of bears in need in Vietnam, Ukraine and Southeastern Europe. Read more about our work as part of the #savethesaddestbears campaign.