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FOUR PAWS rescues three bears from poor keeping conditions in Austria

For the first time in their life, the three bears are now living in a natural environment.
© FOUR PAWS | Jörg Dieckmann

After years of wrangling, FOUR PAWS saves three bears from a desolate animal park in Austria

A new life is beginning for three bears from Enghagen Animal Park in Upper Austria, which had been closed by the authorities. On October 6th, after three years of negotiating with the authorities, FOUR PAWS was finally able to transfer the three bears to its BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach in Lower Austria. The park at Enghagen had already been officially closed back in 2012, but the fate of the bears – a mother and her two offspring – had remained uncertain due to a drawn-out legal battle between owners and leaseholders. Now, we were finally able to free them from their tiny prison.

After sedation each bear needs to be carried to its transport box immediately.
© FOUR PAWS | Jörg Dieckmann

An emotional journey for the three bears and us

“For us, taking the bears from the park to their new home was a very emotional moment”, says Indra Kley, Country Manager of FOUR PAWS Austria. “We’ve been fighting for a long time to be allowed to give them a home that’s suitable for them.” Before being transferred, the three bears were examined by veterinary surgeon Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chris Walzer from Vienna’s University of Veterinary Medicine. All three of them were in a good state of health and ready to travel to Arbesbach where everything was perfectly prepared for the arrival of the three bears. The staff has waited so long for this very special moment and decorated the new home of the three bears with many enrichment tools and tasty treats, such as apples, grapes and vegetables. The release of the three bears happened late on Tuesday 6 October. They were very calm when they entered their new home for the very first time. Never before have the bears lived in such a natural environment as our BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach located in the woods of Lower Austria. In the next weeks and months, they will have enough time to get to know their new environment.