2019-10-2 Kosovo

Kosovo – the bears are back

After the nice time in Prizren we wanted to spend another day outside the capital before we would throw ourselves into the next hustle and bustle. What could be more convenient than the bear sanctuary Prishtina? Right: Nothing. The Austrian animal welfare organisation “Four Paws” has done a great job with its work and created a very beautiful place where the so-called “restaurant-bears” can live as close to nature as possible.

In Albania and Kosovo bears were kept in tiny cages under terrible conditions to amuse the guests. Thanks to the work of Four Paws, this is now banned in Kosovo and hopefully will be soon in Albania. Since the rescued bears are far too used to humans, it is no longer possible to release them, as they would always be looking for food near humans. Problems would be inevitable. Therefore, the organisation, in cooperation with KFOR and the city of Prishtina, has purchased and developed an area where the bears can meet their natural needs in really spacious enclosures. The Bear Sanctury Prishtina https://www.four-paws.org/campaigns-topics/sanctuaries/bear-sanctuary-prishtina is beautifully designed and very worth seeing and even costs only 2 Euro entrance fee. We were very enthusiastic about the work there.

Since we still didn’t feel quite ready for the city and the guys we had met two nights before had recommended us the Ballava Lake, we decided to stay another night there. The lake had a very low water level and unfortunately most of the places, like everywhere in Albania and Kosovo, were very rubbish, but after a little cleaning up we found a nice place for the night. In the evening five wild dogs joined us, but they were all very polite and well socialized. The only one who behaved quite badly was Senta… She quickly became jealous and fled out of insecurity. Fortunately the dogs were not interested in their fake attacks and remained calm. A small, young male dog stayed the whole night and if Senta hadn’t been so determined against it, he would have softened my heart… It is not so easy to drive past all the sweet and friendly dogs or to leave them behind, if you have already made friends one evening.

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