News & Blog

  • 10 years of saving bears in Romania

    The Libearty bear sanctuary in Romania is celebrating its 10th anniversary in October 2015.  It was in 2005 that work was started to create the sanctuary by the Romanian animal protection group called Milioane de Prieteni (Millions of Friends) together with the World Animal Protection (formerly known as WSPA) and with the local municipality of Zarnesti in Transylvania. 

    It was in 2005 that the first bears were rescued.  Cristi and Lydia had been kept in a rusting cage next to a restaurant for many years and they became the first bears to be rescued and taste the freedom of the oak-forested sanctuary.

    On 17th October 2015 the celebration event was held at the sanctuary and invites were sent to Ambassadors, Romanian Ministers, veterinary advisors and the media, and a special guest – more of that later!

    The weather was perfect with the last of the Autumn sun shining down on the 80 rescued bears but they were all looking rather sleepy as winter is approaching and they will soon begin to hibernate.  The bear pictured here was sitting sleepily in one of the huge meadow areas near to a water pool. 

    The Teddy Bear Museum based at the bear sanctuary is still collecting bears and the local media had a sneak preview.  But the museum will not be open to the public until early 2016. Keep watching this space for more details.

  • Max - the gentle giant of a bear

    Max – blind, but safe in his sanctuary.

    Max had been blinded by his owner as a cub, probably from being beaten around the head. He was kept chained up near to a tourist attraction in Romania for the first 9 years of his life, where tourists would pay to take a photo of the huge bear while it leaned on the railings. 

    Max was rescued from this life of cruelty in 2006 and was taken to the Libearty bear sanctuary, where eye specialists tried in vain to save his sight.  But even though blind, Max has survived and is a gentle giant of a bear who has his own large forest enclosure.  He has oak tress overhead and a pool to bathe in and even a comfy den to sleep and hibernate in.

    Max is the favourite of many visitors to the sanctuary who have heard of his sad story and have come to see him.  As the photo shows – Max now has a good life and relaxes in the shade of his oak trees or sits quietly in his shallow pool in the sunshine.  He is also an inspiration for the many school children who visit the bear sanctuary and learn about the need to be kind to animals from hearing his story told by the sanctuary staff guides.   More schools are sending classes to this bear sanctuary to learn the importance of protecting animals from cruelty.  Maybe you too will make a visit one day to see Max the gentle giant.

  • Vet Students visit the bear sanctuary in Romania

    The Libearty bear sanctuary recently had a visit from 120 veterinary students from all over the world, from Malaysia to South Africa and USA to Holland. They were from the International Veterinary Students Association which was holding meetings in Romania. The students were shown around the sanctuary by Cristina Lapis, President of the AMP which manages the sanctuary and they had a meeting in the sanctuary building (see photo).

    The students were inspired by their visit, to see how well the rescued bears were cared for and also to see how the sanctuary has made such a difference for animals in Romania as many Romanian schools now send classes there to learn about animal welfare.  

    Hopefully some of these young vets will remember their visit to the sanctuary and go on to help wild animals through their veterinary work in the future.

  • Rescued bear enjoying his freedom in the sanctuary

    The Teddy Bear Museum, which opens later this year, will encourage more visitors to the bear sanctuary in Romania where they can take a guided tour to see the bears that have been rescued from cruel and illegal captivity. These bears were kept in small cages, sometimes outside restaurants and petrol stations as attractions. Now there are 80 rescued bears living a more natural life in the 30 hectares of oak forested enclosures at the sanctuary near Brasov in central Romania. Here they can hide in the forest if they wish or they can climb the trees to rest in the branches or play in the open meadows and swim in the pools.  

    See the video posted on the Teddy bear museum Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BearSanctuaryTeddyBearMuseum ) It was taken of one of the young brown bears soon after his rescue from a cage in an illegal mini-zoo. He was released into one of the sanctuary enclosures and he was clearly overjoyed to play in the large fresh water pool there. 

    If you want to learn more about how and why the bear sanctuary was created in Romania, why not get the illustrated book – Bear Sanctuary, from Amazon: http://amzn.to/pWBWaQ or give it as a gift to friends and family to spread the story of the bear sanctuary and its new Teddy Bear Museum.

  • Giant Teddy Bears saved for the Romanian bear sanctuary - teddy museum

    Giant Teddy Bears saved for the sanctuary!

    Two giant teddy bears measuring 3 metres tall will be the main attraction at the new teddy bear museum at the Romanian bear sanctuary. They were made by William Hill Bookmakers and Taylor Herring UK for a UK media story surrounding the recent birth of the new Royal baby to Prince William and Kate Middleton.
    The bears, one with a Prince crown and the other with a Princess crown were driven around London to pose the question – would the baby be a boy or girl. But after Kate gave birth to a baby girl, now named Princess Charlotte, we asked the company who owned the bears if they would donate them to the museum – and they agreed! That is a fantastic solution and the giant bears will be a huge attraction at the museum. 
    The teddy bears are stuffed just like their smaller cousins but they have a steel frame to keep them upright. The sanctuary has been able to drive them to Romania and they are now the first attractions of the new Teddy Bear Museum there.

    We still need more original (but smaller) teddy bears for the museum – so please help. If you are a teddy bear maker then please donate a bear to the museum, or ask someone you know who has a collection of teddy bears or who makes them.  If you see a teddy bear wearing something like a T-shirt, hat, national costume etc. showing the name of a country then those are also needed for a World of Teddy Bears section.

    The museum will attract more visitors to the bear sanctuary and their entrance fees help pay for the care and rescue of bears in Romania. 

    See our Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/BearSanctuaryTeddyBearMuseum