DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa is located in the Rila Mountains. The sanctuary is run in cooperation with the French Brigitte Bardot Foundation and is currently funded by both organisations. Most of the bears in this sanctuary were former 'dancing bears' from Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania. Dancing bears have been common in Europe since the 19th century and describe bears that have been captured at a young age or bred in captivity and then used to entertain people by performing tricks. The cruel training was finally banned in Bulgaria in 1998, but the practice continued until 2007, when FOUR PAWS rescued the last 'dancing bears' and brought them to their forever, species-appropriate home at DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa.
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Although it is mostly former 'dancing bears' who live at the sanctuary, other rescued brown bears have also found a suitable, lifelong home here. The sanctuary offers its inhabitants dense forests and hills for roaming and seclusion, meadows and specially designed sunny places for rest, ponds for swimming and artificial dens for those bears who do not dig their own hibernation caves. At DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa, the bears can finally live the life they deserve and behave naturally again.