Our Animal Welfare Standards

The BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz provides bears from difficult backgrounds with a natural habitat.  

The BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz provides an natural habitat for bears.
© FOUR PAWS / Mihai Vasile

Bears which have been in captivity cannot be reintroduced to the wild. They become dependent on humans and would not survive in the wilderness. Many of the bears were previously held under extremely poor conditions and thus developed severe behavioural disturbances.

The BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz offers an alternative for such bears. They can revert to their animal instincts and enjoy their natural behavioural patterns. They can roam around the enclosure, withdraw to be in seclusion, excavate caverns and hollows, bathe in the pond or also rediscover their natural winter state of semi-hibernation.


Natural habitat


The size and structure of our bear protection centres provide the animals with an ideal environment for their needs; they can fulfill their urge to wander, withdraw into their own space, dig out caverns and go into a state of hibernation.  The ponds allow for intensive bathing and coat-care; bears adore water! Furthermore, the keepers provide the bears with a whole host of opportunities to live out their natural instinctive behaviour:   Carefully chosen objects occupy the bears and stimulate their natural playfulness and curiosity.


The bear has the choice


 A basic principle of all FOUR PAWS bear projects is that the bears are not simply put on display.  The interaction with humans is reduced to a necessary minimum so that the brown bear has the opportunity to establish its own daily routine. Visitors are given a glimpse into the everyday life of the animals, but it is intrinsic to the project that the bear itself decides if it wants to be seen. It has the chance to withdraw from view at any time.


Wildlife-friendly feeding


In the natural order of things a bear spends the majority of his time searching for food; We strive to recreate these circumstances within the sanctuary.  The keepers hide the feed in enclosures and constantly develop new techniques to occupy the bears.  Challenging feeding games stimulate the  intelligence and instinctive skills of the bears, for example balls filled with feed are placed in wheels and can only be freed with patience and animal logic.


Professional Care


Experienced keepers and specialst veterinarians for wild animals look after the bears on an individual basis so that they can recover from their specific health issues and behavioural sterotypes.  The behaviour of the bear is observed and documented. FOUR PAWS works in close co-operation with scientific bodies and universities which are committed to our projects.   




Upon handing over the bears to the FOUR PAWS organization, the former keepers commit themselves to not keeping or purchasing bears in the future.  

We do not breed bears  in our bear sanctuaries; all male animals are castrated.



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