Celebrating eight years of protecting bears in Romania


Today we celebrate the official opening of our bear sanctuary in Romania - the largest in Europe - which provides a home to bears rescued from illegal captivity and cruelty.

We began building the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in 2005 with our Romanian partner AMP (Millions of Friends) after they contacted us about the plight of bears in illegal captivity in Romania.

A ceremony in Zarnesti, Romania, marks eight years of the sanctuary, which though only now complete, has long provided a home to bears caught from the wild and kept in illegal captivity, often subjected to terrible cruelty. Today it is home to 78 rescued bears.

We have been protecting bears since 1992. We designed and funded construction of the world’s first dedicated bear sanctuary in Greece. This was followed by sanctuaries in Turkey, Hungary, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Laos and now Romania.

We continue to protect bears from the very worst cases of cruelty, such as those used for bear-baiting in Pakistan, or for the cruel and unnecessary extraction of bear bile across many parts of Asia.

Mike Baker, World Animal Protection CEO, said: “We are extremely proud to announce that Europe’s largest bear sanctuary is complete and is home to 78 bears that AMP, with World Animal Protections’s support, has rescued from captivity.

“With so many wild animals under threat from human activities and exploitation, we are doing all we can to move the world to protect animals. We firmly believe that wild animals belong in the wild.”


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World Animal Protection and BRC estimate that around 40-45 bears remain in captivity for use in the brutal blood sport of bear baiting. In March 2014, one more...