Next bear from Poland is going to German sanctuary

    In an unlicensed zoo-botanical garden in Braniewo (Warmia region, NE Poland) five brown bears are being kept (two males and three females). Pietka (male) and Ewka (female) origin from an Ukrainian circus and they are, respectively, 16 and 17 years old. Wojtusia (female, 10 years old), Gienia (female, 8 years old) and Michal (male, 8 years old) were born in Braniewo. Michal had lost his forelimb in an accident. He is being kept in 60 sqm. concrete enclosure. Unfortunately keeping conditions for remaining bears in Braniewo are similar. Ewka and Gienia live on 58 sqm., Wojtusia on 130 sq., Pietka on 190 sqm. All enclosures/cages have no natural substrate. Lack of professional staff causes bears being improperly fed. Additionally visitors can feed bears - there is no control over it. Braniewo is small town, the municipality doesn't have funds for new enclosure, however at this point it is necessary to underline the current good co-operation with the authorities.

    Thanks to our long-term efforts and cooperation with the Vier Pfoten ("Four Paws"), the most probably at the end of September 2011,
Michal will be moved to Bärenwald Müritz (Bearforest Müritz) – the sanctuary for bears situated next near the lake Müritz in Mecklenburg (nothern-east Germany). Since June two female bears from Leszno have been living in the sanctuary (more info on this here and here).

    Keeping standards in the sanctuary are very high - an area of 5 000 sqm. (0,5 ha) per one individual. Behind the fence there are a lot of trees and bushes, meadows and ponds, a small river flows through some enclosures. The staff use many various environmental enrichment techniques - food is hidden in special places what stimulates bears to searching and manipulating and in consequence increases their activity.  In such half-natural conditions bears have an annual cycle similar to natural – in winter they do hibernate.

    We have worked in Braniewo since two years. At first we organized castration of both males in 2009, then detailed veterinary examination in winter 2011. All bears were fully examined and microchipped. Prof. Huber from Croatia took part in action together with other veterinary experts and biologists. RSPCA have founded this action and also partly the expenses were covered by Braniewo municipality.

    Unfortunately “Vier Pfoten” cannot take more animals from Braniewo and from Poland. However there is a great chance that we will continue our cooperation to solve and improve welfare of bears in Poland.

will be accompanying Michal from the beginning of his journey to the sanctuary, and through the first days of his stay in the new location. For him it will be a completely new world, best as he could ever have.

Michal (zoo-botanical garden in Braniewo)

Michal (zoo-botanical garden in Braniewo)

Michal (zoo-botanical garden in Braniewo)

Michal (zoo-botanical garden in Braniewo)

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