Freeing bears from Captivity

We work in Romania to free bears that are being kept in captivity – often in tiny, barren, concrete cages – by private owners and zoos.

Bears in captivity

Brown bears are one of the largest species of bear and are native to Romania. Their natural habitat includes forests and open plains, where their home range can reach hundreds of square miles. Sadly, this is not the life that the captive bears of Romania’s private bear owners and private zoos experience. They are kept in inadequate enclosures, often on concrete floors that damage their delicate paws, with little in the way of enrichment and fed a nutritionally deficient diet.    

Bears should live in their natural environment, not be kept captive for people’s entertainment – you can help us free them.

Creating a safe haven

We have been working with our partner in Romania, Asociatia Milioane de Prieteni (AMP) since 2005, creating the world’s largest bear sanctuary near Zarnesti. The final phase of this was completed in early 2014. The sanctuary is set in lush forest, with pools for the bears to bathe in and plenty of space for them to roam around. Unfortunately, the bears we rescue would be unable to survive in the wild due to their history but the sanctuary provides them with an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible.

Together, we can put an end to the cruel captivity of bears in Romania.

Bears in captivity: our work

We work with AMP to identify and rescue bears being kept in cruel conditions and then house them in our purpose-built sanctuary. Our work includes:

  • Investigating the conditions bears are being kept in, by visiting the properties and zoos that are known to keep bears
  • Negotiating with the owners, to secure their agreement to surrender the bear(s) to us
  • Transporting bears to the safety of the sanctuary
  • Providing comprehensive veterinary care when the bear arrives at the sanctuary and for the rest of the bear’s life
  • Maintaining the sanctuary to ensure that the bears are kept in the best conditions possible
  • Providing nutritious food and a stimulating environment
  • Educating the public through visits to the sanctuary and schools programmes to communicate the importance of allowing wild animals to remain in the wild

With your support, we can rescue the remaining captive bears in Romania and house them in our purpose-built sanctuary for the rest of their lives.  

With your support, we can stop bears being subjected to a lifetime of pain and distress in the bear bile industry

Learn more about our work to end bear baiting.