Touching story: Two bears were released from their chains after many years of living


The story of the bears in Bulgaria is indeed a mix of tragedy and hope, with efforts to end cruelty gradually gaining momentum.

In 1993, attempts were made to halt the cruel practice of keeping bears, but due to the lack of proper facilities and enforcement, Roma families were still allowed to keep them under license, prolonging the suffering of these animals. It wasn’t until 1998 that the training and dancing of bears were outlawed in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian government, in collaboration with organizations like FOUR PAWS and FONDATION BRIGITTE BARDOT, established a sanctuary for mistreated bears – the BEAR SANCTUARY Belitsa, which opened its doors in 2000. This sanctuary provided a haven for bears rescued from abuse and exploitation.

The decisive end to the cruel tradition came in 2007 when the last three dancing bears were rescued from their owners in the village of Getsovo. Since then, Bulgarian law has banned all private keeping of bears, ensuring that no bears in Bulgaria will ever be subjected to such cruelty again.

Among these rescued bears are Svetla and Mima, who now reside in the sanctuary. Svetla, born in 1990, enjoys relaxing in her favorite spot deep within the forest, away from visitors’ eyes. Mima, born in 1997, is known for her activity during the day and prefers to nap in the shade during the summer months.

Despite their difficult pasts, these bears now have the opportunity to live out their days in peace and comfort, thanks to the efforts of those dedicated to their welfar

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