Bear in a cage

FOUR PAWS Helps Bears In Distress 

Improving the living conditions of bears in captivity worldwide 


FOUR PAWS started its work for bears in need in 1998. Since then, we reveal inappropriate living conditions for bears under direct human influence, we rescue those individuals and provide them with a safe and species-appropriate home in our sanctuaries.

Our aim is to end the keeping of brown bears in inappropriate conditions in Europe and to contribute to an end of bile bear farming in Vietnam. We have over 30 years of experience in rescuing bears from bad captivity and have provided suitable living conditions for more than two hundred bears in our own sanctuaries and the sanctuaries we run in cooperation.

#SaddestBears campaign


What we do

FOUR PAWS is not only rescuing bears from bad captivity but is also advocating for the implementation and enforcement of legislation banning the inappropriate keeping of bears in Europe and Vietnam. Find more information on our website #SaddestBears.


Best quality of life and care for rescued bears in sanctuaries


What we want

 This includes: Large outdoor enclosures with natural vegetation and structures, no display and interaction with animals, professional care, natural diet and enriching feeding methods, use of enrichment, social housing, right conditions to hibernate, lifelong care, no breeding. 


FOUR PAWS successes


What we achieved so far

We ended the cruel keeping of dancing bears in Bulgaria (2007) and Serbia (2009), the private keeping of bears in Kosovo (2013) and Poland (2016), and the private keeping of bears in Austria (in 2019). We contributed to a significant reduction of bears in illegal captivity in Albania.


How you can support our work

  • Please do not support bear abuse: What might appear as an appealing tourist attraction is often connected to pain and distress for the animals involved. Please be considerate towards animals and don’t take selfies with bears and other wild animals, don’t visit venues where you can feed or watch those animals perform tricks and don’t buy any souvenirs made with animal parts.
  • Stay informed: Stay informed about our work for bears in need and subscribe to our newsletter and social media accounts (Instragram, Facebook, Twitter).
  • Visit our bears: All our bear sanctuaries and partner projects are open for animal lovers. With every visit you make an important contribution to our animal welfare work!
  • Report bear abuse: You can help us by reporting cases of bears in need. We’re gathering all information in a database and check if we can help. Send an email to:
  • Sign our petition: We need your help to end bear bile farming in Vietnam! Please sign our petition and help the bile bears in Hanoi.
  • Donate: Please consider a donation to be a part of our mission to end the suffering of bears around the globe.
  • Spread the word: Please share our bear news and stories via social media and tell your family and friends about our work for bears in need.
Asiatic black bear in a cage

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