Happy and healthy Dushi

The Transformation of Rescued Animals

After being rescued, many of our animals go through a mental and physical transformation 


Across the world, many bears and big cats are forced to perform in circuses, as photo props for tourists, vegetate in substandard zoos, and are kept under unsuitable private keeping conditions. A large number of these animals suffer greatly from stress caused by malnutrition, confinement, cruel training, neglect and boredom. These animals are deprived of their natural needs and instincts.

We are working towards a world where animals will no longer be forced into such cruelty.

What is FOUR PAWS doing?

  • We work alongside governments to change laws; aiming to end the inappropriate keeping of bears and big cats in zoos, circuses and in private keeping
  • We reveal suffering and cause momentum with petitions
  • We rescue animals in need on challenging missions
  • We protect these animals by providing them a life-long home at our sanctuaries

Why do we see such a change after rescuing?

  • Medical care – we ensure that all of our rescued animals receive the best possible medical care by experienced veterinarians
  • Food – a species-appropriate diet is essential for optimal health
  • New Environment – many of our animals come from confined spaces, now they live in a species-appropriate environment where they can act on many of their natural instincts
  • Enrichment – our animals are provided with special stimuli and techniques such as foraging and searching for objects to keep them occupied and improve their motor and behavioral skills

Can you see the difference in our rescued animals?

Asiatic black bear Soi

Bear Soi was kept in the backyard of a house in Vietnam. He was only a small cub when he was locked in a tiny cage by his owner. Alone behind metal bars, with no enrichment in an environment utterly unsuitable for a young bear, Soi couldn't follow any natural instincts. In 2022 Soi’s former owner agreed to hand the bear over to the authorities, and they asked FOUR PAWS to take him into its care. A FOUR PAWS team traveled to Son La province to rescue Soi and transferred him to his new home at BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh.

Since then Soi developed very well, and even made new friends with the young bears Lac and Cam. Cam and Lac have really helped Soi gain confidence and the bears can often be found playing with each other.

Brown bear Gjina

Gjina was living in a tiny four-meter square cage outside of a restaurant in Albania. Gjina was one of many “restaurant bears” in Albania. Whilst in her cage, customers of the restaurant would give her as many as 20 beers a day to drink. She lived a miserable, sad and lonely life. Now, with your support we were able to rescue her - she will never suffer again! As she was still young at the time of her rescue, she has good prospects to recover and her transformation is remarkable. 

Now, beautiful Gjina lives in an 8,500 square meter enclosure at our BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina, along with another bear rescued from Albania, Pashuk. Both Gjina and Pashuk are encouraged in many ways to live as naturally as possible, and they are thriving!

Lion Bobby

Lion Bobby was one of the three lions that FOUR PAWS rescued from “Europe’s worst zoo”, the Safari Zoo in Fier in Albania back in 2018. Due to the horrible conditions, Bobby was suffering from an infected wound, infested with maggots. Bobby also has kidney issues which need intensive care and life-long medication. Since his arrival in FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary in the Netherlands, he’s been provided with intensive veterinary care and has made great improvement from his previous life traumas. Bobby's favorite hobby is to lie down and rest, relax and sleep in his hammock. 

Tiger Laziz

Laziz was rescued during a rescue mission of Khan Younis Zoo  in Gaza Strip. After Laziz was rescued he was transferred to our LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa - look at him now! You made it possible for Laziz to bloom into a beautiful tiger and enjoy the long sunny African days in the long grass of the sanctuary.

Brown bear Teddy

Teddy is one of our youngest residents living at BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa in Bulgaria which we run in cooperation with Fondation Brigitte Bardot.

Before he came to the sanctuary he had a miserable life in a tiny rusty cage in Shtip Zoo in North Macedonia. When we heard about Teddy and his terriblesituation, we fought for him, but due to the pandemic  with all its restrictions in 2020 his rescue proved to be difficult. We never gave up, and were finally able to bring Teddy to his forever home, BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa, where he immediately explored his beautiful outdoor enclosure and started to enjoy his new life. He loves to play also with his companion Riku who was rescued from a similar sad past in Albania.

This would not be possible if it wasn't for you – our amazing supporters!

Napa and Amelia in the snow at Arosa Bear Sanctuary

See more of our rescued animals


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