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.