the saddest bears need our help

Bears are still kept in appalling conditions. Their owners often use them for profit. Whether for bile extraction or as tourist attractions – hundreds of bears are exploited and tortured to make money.

our Mission

FOUR PAWS rescues bears suffering in captivity and protects them by providing lifelong species-appropriate care at our sanctuaries. We are committed to ending their suffering through public awareness campaigns, working to change laws around their keeping and advocating for their welfare worldwide.

Happy rescued bears in FOUR PAWS sanctuary

Rescues and success stories

Meet our rescued bears. Now, having happy lives in our sanctuaries

Arosa Barenland bear sanctuary with bear Napa


We protect animals by giving lifelong care in species-appropriate sanctuaries

Rescue of Asiatic bile bears in Vietnam

timeline of our activities and achievements

See how we are changing lives for bears in Vietnam


bear welfare issues

Our work to rescue abused bears in Vietnam, Southeast Europe, and Ukraine.

#SaddestBears in Vietnam

bear farms in vietnam

Bears are kept and abused for bile extraction

#SaddestBears in Southeast Europe

caged bears in Southeast Europe

Many bears are suffering in bad conditions in captivity 

#SaddestBears in Ukraine

Caged bears in Ukraine

Many bears are suffering in bad conditions in captivity 

Bear Michal in his forrmer keeping

Bears in Poland

FOUR PAWS successfully ended the private keeping of bears in 2016

#SaddestBears in France

Abused for entertainment

In France bears are still being made to perform silly tricks


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What you can do to help bears:


Support bears in need

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End bear farming in Vietnam!

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Updates, press releases and background information

Bear Martha is being rescued from a closed restaurant

Brown bear rescued after 17 years of abuse as circus and restaurant attraction in Ukraine

FOUR PAWS calls for strictly enforced animal protection laws

Brown bear family rescued after years as hotel entertainment in Ukraine

Brown bear family rescued after years as hotel entertainment in Ukraine

FOUR PAWS has transferred two adult bears and their cub to BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr

Asiatic black bear in a cage

Vietnam’s #1 Bear Farming Hotspot: Hanoi

Support FOUR PAWS to save the saddest bears

17 years in a dark, windowless basement

17 years in a dark, windowless basement

FOUR PAWS rescues two former bile bears in Vietnam

See all

Meet Some of our rescued bears

Read our success stories

7 bile bears rescued

Rescue 7 Bile Bears

Asiatic black bears La, Lam, Sang, Dua, Khe, Oi and Xoai begin their new lives at BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh 

Asiatic black bear Thu

Rescue Thu

With 15 years of suffering behind her, the Asiatic black bear begins her new life

Rescue Frol and Frosia

Rescue Frol and Frosia

Born for entertainment, these two restaurant bears knew no different – now they begin a new life! 

Rescue Leo and Melanka

Rescue Leo and Melanka

The 'Presidential bears' rescued after 14 long years in a barren cage

New life for bears

Our solution

A new life for rescued animals in our bear sanctuaries

Read more


is a FOUR PAWS campaign to help bears. See our other country versions:

United States
Switzerland (FR)

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Press Corner


Our press corner includes the latest international press releases of current animal welfare topics, operations, rescues and much more. 

Are you a journalist? Contact our press team today with your questions and to set up an interview with one of our experts in the field.