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FOUR PAWS and Viva! rescue only circus bear in Poland

They fed the bear with popcorn ...
© Viva! Foundation

After years of inadequate keeping conditions, forced to perform tricks to amuse visitors at the Polish circus “Vegas”, a team from FOUR PAWS and the Polish animal welfare organisation Viva! were finally able to rescue the only circus bear, Baloo, in Poland. The team arrived in Pawlowice yesterday early in the morning and took charge of the bear after it was confiscated by the local police. Baloo had to lead his life in a tiny cage with a small outdoor enclosure; during his performances he was fed with junk food to entertain visitors. Luckily, the circus owner was cooperative and the whole confiscation and transfer of the bear as well as some other affected animals (a caiman and some turtles) went well. The bear is now safely accommodated in Zoo Poznan, a cooperation partner of FOUR PAWS. But, as there is not enough space to keep the bear permanently at the zoo, FOUR PAWS and Viva! are trying to get permission from the competent authorities to transfer Baloo to BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in Germany which is run by FOUR PAWS.

No more popcorn: finally bear Baloo gets proper food ...
© Viva! Foundation

The circus "Vegas" has violated several Polish laws in regards to animal welfare ...

FOUR PAWS is working closely with the Polish animal welfare organisation Viva! which has organized all the necessary legal steps to ensure the confiscation and the trial which will follow. Despite there being no general ban on wild animals in circuses in Poland, the circus „Vegas“ has violated several Polish laws in regards to animal welfare and security standards. Baloo has been living under harsh conditions in a small circus cage since May 2014. He lacked species appropriate food and proper veterinary care. Even the bear cage lacked in regards to security standards. All these facts should be enough to forbid the circus to own new bears in the future. In fact the law proceeding in this case could even take up to two years.