Giving bears new lives in our sanctuaries

For over 20 years, World Animal Protection and our partner organisations have been protecting bears from cruelty, rescuing and bringing them to live in peace in sanctuaries.


Bears in captivity

Some bears are forced to endure appalling conditions, trapped in cages or used in blood sports like bear baiting. Bears raised in tiny enclosures and abusive situations sadly usually can’t adapt to a life in the wild.

With our local partners in Romania and Pakistan, and generous donations from our supporters, we built sanctuaries to re-home bears rescued from a lifetime of cruelty. 


The bear sanctuary

The bear sanctuaries are areas of forest surrounded by tall fences for the rescued bears to live safely in. The enclosures have large fresh water pools and plenty of trees so the bears can live a relaxed life free from suffering.

In Romania

Our support for local partner Millions of Friends Association means European brown bears that have spent their lives caged as tourist attractions can experience grass beneath their feet, trees and pools for the first time.

In Zarnesti, in the Carpathian countryside, bears learn to hibernate and interact with each other, freedoms that they have never known until now.

In Pakistan

The sanctuary at Balkasar made possible by our partnership with the Bioresource Research Centre is a haven for bears that have suffered some of the worst animal cruelty imaginable: the baiting arena.

The tranquillity of the pools and large, grassy enclosures could not be further removed from the suffering of their former lives when they were forced to fight trained dogs in the name of entertainment.


Saving more bears thanks to you

There are currently over 80 bears living peacefully in the Romanian sanctuary and over 30 in the Balkasar sanctuary in Pakistan. These numbers are growing all the time. Check our News page for updates on the latest bears to be rescued.

Our supporters have helped improve the lives of so many bears around the world – and together we are constantly fighting to save more. We cannot thank you enough for helping us give these bears the lives they deserve.

Tell the world:


Rescuing and caring for more bears

More bears need our help. Please support our urgent efforts to end the suffering of captive bears and to ensure that all the bears are fed and cared for at the sanctuaries.



Bears Leela and Reech meet for the first time at Balkasar Sanctuary in Pakistan