Dramatic situation of bears in a former dog shelter in Korabiewice

In the last few days we have received many emails from people concerned
about the situation of bears in a former dog shelter in Korabiewice (near
Warsaw) and asking to help those animals. We visited Korabiewice last
Friday (10.02.12). Because of the considerable interest in this matter,
we are publishing this report.

The former shelter in Korabiewice we visited last week (February 10,
2012). The license for a dog shelter in Korabiewice was revoked at the
end of 2011 after a series of television documentaries. Still several
hundred of dogs and other animals, including one wolf, are living there.
Against all people working with animals there, there is prosecution
pending for the abuse of animals. This procedure concerns also the owner,
who additionally has officially prohibited to deal with animals. From
obtained information it looks like the ban is not enforced. Dogs owned by
22 municipalities that handed over them to this place are now and still
in an illegal shelter. Animal welfare organizations, which could and
would help in adoptions are not let inside to this property. There is no
electricity and running water. This information seems to be essential to
understand the situation of animals being kept there.

There are three brown bears males and one Asiatic black bear (female)
being kept in this shelter. While visiting and feeding, we found that
bears are emaciated. Due to the lack of a sufficient fat reserves they
could not hibernate. For months they have been fed mainly with carrots
and have no water in cages. During feeding we had an opportunity to look
at teeth. In one of the bears we have found advanced decays requiring
intervention, the animal has been suffering for months because of this,
what is obvious from the behaviour and sounds it makes. Asiatic black bear
has severe movement problems due to her age, and possibly arthritis
(should be subjected to a special treatment). Bears have been kept there
for years in small cages, on concrete, without professional care and
without veterinary checks.

Asiatic black bear called Balbina and brown bear named Boris are being
kept in neighboring cages. Boris was welded in the circus wagon. He spent
10 years in it before was moved to the Korabiewice in April 2006.
Balbina, which is also an animal with circus in her life history, has
been living in Korabiewice since 1998. Misha and Vanya (in Korabiewice
since July 1997) first years of their life had spent in skyscraper in
Moskow (with its circus trainer) and earlier survived hard episodes of
being used for the training of dogs used in bear hunting in Russia and
circus life. They were confiscated in Poland, and formally are the
property of the Warsaw Zoo. Due to lack of space in the zoo, the zoo head
decided to keep them as a deposit in the shelter at that time owned by
the Bear Foundation.

Further keeping of bears and the wolf in this place violates the
regulations on animal species protection and welfare. Wild animals
species are being kept there without the appropriate authorization of the
General Directorate of Environmental Protection, required in case of
animals protected under the Nature Protection Act of 16 April 2004 (as
amended) and Regulation of the Minister of Environment of 12 October 2011
on animal species conservation (Official Journal of 2011, No. 237, item
1419). In addition, keeping animals listed in Annex I of the regulation
of the Minister of Environment (3 August 2011), concerning the species of
animals dangerous to human life and health (Official Journal of 2004, No.
92, item 880,) outside of the authorized units (which do not include
shelters, and the more former shelters) is illegal (unauthorized facility
must hand the animals over to authorized ones until 23 May 2012). The
welfare of animals living there is poor, they have no proper care and
such situation violates the Act of August 21, 1997 on the protection of
animals (as amended, Official Journal 1997, No. 111, item 724).

As can be concluded from described situation, we believe that the
continued keeping of bears and the wolf in this place is not only
illegal but also is a threat for their health. It is also dangerous to
humans. We are deeply convinced that immediate looking for solutions of
the current situation is necessary and even the temporary placement of
those animals in other institution would be of great help. We are
looking for possible solutions and try to communicate with the decision
makers and the people and organizations which can help.

Ban on bears keeping as pet, in dog shelters and unlicensed zoos - next »
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