bears in SerbiA


FOUR PAWS is committed to improving the living conditions of bears in captivity

FOUR PAWS has been operating in Serbia for many years to help bears kept in bad conditions. Bears are still being held by private owners in conditions unsuited to their species as well as in inadequate zoo environments.  

A major milestone

Together with the Serbian Ministry of environmental protection, FOUR PAWS has put an end to the keeping of dancing bears in Serbia and rescued and transferred the last Serbian circus bears to sanctuaries in Germany and Switzerland.

In future, FOUR PAWS would like to continue to support the Serbian authorities in ending the keeping of brown bears in conditions unsuited to their species in Serbia and finding adequate living environments for confiscated animals. 

Timeline of our activities and achievements


July 2018

FOUR PAWS transports the last remaining Serbian circus bear to Switzerland. The bear, named Napa, is the first resident at the new Arosa bear sanctuary.


November 2017

Two of the Serbian circus bears, Pavle and Sylvia, are transferred to BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in Germany.


October 2016

Together with Serbian authorities, FOUR PAWS rescues the last three circus bears. The animal welfare organisation expresses its willingness to assume care of the animals as soon as procedures concerning their permanent home are completed. In the meantime, the bears are housed temporarily in Serbian zoos.  

July 2015

FOUR PAWS and the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection sign a joint declaration of intent with the goal of ending the keeping of bears in Serbia in conditions unsuited to the species and finding homes for confiscated wild animals. 

June 2014

FOUR PAWS supports the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection during the transfer of three bear orphans to a bear rescue centre in Romania. 


Summer 2009

The Serbian government introduces a general ban on wild animals in circuses. 

January 2009

FOUR PAWS transfers the last three Serbian dancing bears to DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa, marking the end of the keeping of dancing bears in Serbia. The Bulgarian sanctuary is run in cooperation with the French Brigitte Bardot Foundation and is funded by both organisations.

SAve the saddest bears

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