Tirana, June 21
A rescue centre for abused bears is considered the best way for putting an end to all the cruellest forms of bear keeping in Albania. FOUR PAWS International aims at supporting the Albanian government on the construction of the new enclosure for bears. According to FOUR PAWS, which is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, as many as 80 brown bears are held in captivity all over Albania.
The wild animals have been captured as cubs and are used for profit or amusement purposes. They can be seen by the seaside or in tiny cages in restaurants or beaches where tourists can take a selfie with the animal for less than 1.5 Euro.
Metal rings connected to a chain are driven through the bears noses in order to make them behave. Based on the data provided by FOUR PAWS, currently, the population of brown bears in Albania is estimated 250 animals.
The Albanian Ministry of Environment has signed memorandums of understanding on the protection of these animals that are kept in miserable conditions. Brown bears are considered an endangered species, but the construction of the new enclosure and the enforcement of harsh penalties and punishment for illegal bear ownership may change the situation. FOUR PAWS has five bear sanctuaries in respectively in Muritz Germany, Arbesbach Austria, Pristina Kosovo, Belitsa Bulgaria and Nadiya in Ukraine.