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The Welfare of Bears in Zoos: A Case Study of Poland

By Robert Maślak, Agnieszka Sergiel, David Bowles, Łukasz Paśko

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The welfare of captive bears became a big issue of concern in Poland when a case of a bear being ill-treated became a high-profile case in the media. This case created a challenge to verify, study, and understand the main problems associated with bear keeping so that zoos could significantly improve the conditions in which they keep bears or ensure they keep bears at the minimum required standards. The results presented here are from 1 of the few countrywide studies of captive bear conditions conducted in all the captive institutions in Poland that keep bears. Thirteen institutions kept bears at the time of the study (2007–2009), including 54 individuals of 5 species. Major welfare problems were identified, and the results have been used to challenge zoos to address the changes required and focus the government's attention on areas that require legislative improvement.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 24-36
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2015.1071671
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Tags
  1. Assessment
  2. Bears
  3. standards