Bear Jambolina arrives at Arosa Bear Sanctuary

bear saved from barren cage, now enjoys views of the Swiss alps

From the bleak Ukrainian circus to the snowy mountains; 'Loneliest bear in the world' will also get introduced to bear friends


December 14, 2020 - FOUR PAWS successfully rescued a former circus bear from Ukraine garage. Due to COVID-19 measures and cancelled events, Jambolina's owner was no longer able to let her perform in circuses. The bear remained locked up in a tiny cage for months. 

On December 8th, the FOUR PAWS team on-site freed Jambolina from her tiny cage and started the four-day journey that led them from Ukraine to Switzerland via Poland, Germany and Austria.

Jambolina  arrived at Arosa Bear Sanctuary in Switzerland. After a four-day, 1,491 mile journey across four countries, the eleven-year-old bear arrived safe and sound in Switzerland and can now settle into her new home. Arosa Bear Sanctuary stands atop a mountain in the Alps  at over 6,500 feet above sea level and is runs by FOUR PAWS together with the Arosa Bears Foundation. 

As was the case with the current residents of the alpine sanctuary, an aerial cable car took care of the last part of Jambolina’s journey: A logistical challenge that the experienced team once again mastered. Finally, a snow groomer brought Jambolina safely through the snow masses to her new forever home.

“Transporting a bear across four national and two EU borders is a big challenge, even more so in COVID-19 times. We had to ensure Jambolina’s wellbeing at all times while a lot of paperwork and controls were needed for the logistical part of the transfer,” 

-Barbara van Genne, responsible for Wild Animal Rescue and Advocacy at FOUR PAWS.

“Jambolina's keeping conditions were far from species-appropriate, which had a negative impact on her health. Her teeth are in bad condition and her claws need further examination. For the time being, she will remain in an adaption enclosure so that the team of animal caretakers can observe her. Through targeted food distribution, she will be accustomed to the rhythm of hibernation and hopefully regain her natural instincts,” says Van Genne.

Help end the suffering of the #SaddestBears

Jambolina begins a new chapter at Arosa Bear Sanctuary

It is not just the team at Arosa excited to welcome Jambolina but also the locals who cheered on while Jambolina transport passed.  

“It is incredibly beautiful to see what FOUR PAWS, in cooperation with Arosa Bear Sanctuary, is achieving with the rescue of Jambolina. We can offer a wild animal that has been caged for a long time the space she needs and thus give her new start in life. The fact that we are also bringing so much joy to countless families, school classes, grandparents, guests, locals and all bear fans at the same time is of course all the more wonderful," says Pascal Jenny, President of the Arosa Bears Foundation. 

Arosa Bear Sanctuary opened in summer 2018 and is a cooperation project of FOUR PAWS, Arosa Tourism and Arosa Mountain Railways. FOUR PAWS rescued the current residents, 14-year-old bears Amelia and Meimo, in February 2019.

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need, and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organization advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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