News & Blog

  • Harry Potter actress visits Romania bear sanctuary

    The Libearty bear sanctuary in Romania had a magical visitor recently. Evanna Lynch, the actress who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, visited the bear sanctuary to help us celebrate 10 years of rescuing bears from cruel captivity. Evanna was thrilled to see the rescued bears relaxing and playing in the sanctuary meadows and pools and she made a donation of a special bear to the teddy bear museum which will open to muggles and wizards early in 2016.

    The teddy bear is dressed in a Ravenclaw scarf (Luna’s school house in the Harry Potter films) and also a Luna Lovegood/Ravenclaw lanyard which Evanna signed on the front, and wrote a personal message to the sanctuary on the reverse. The “Harry Potter” teddy is now sitting on the museum shelves waiting for the official opening.
    If you have a teddy bear to donate to the new teddy bear museum at the bear sanctuary in Romania - let us know at:

  • Visitors to the bear sanctuary

    The Romanian bear sanctuary is rapidly becoming one of Romania’s must-see tourist attractions.  It is listed on TripAdvisor as one of the top 10 things to do around Brasov  (

    The Hotel Raddisson Blu has also put a mention on their blog page about the Libearty Bear Sanctuary – entitled “Quirky places to visit around Bucharest”.  See:

    So if you are planning on visiting Romania in 2016 - put a trip to the bear sanctuary on your list.  See the 80 rescued brown bears resting and playing in their huge oak forest sanctuary – and in early 2016 Romania’s first Teddy bear Museum will be opening at the bear sanctuary.

  • Teddy Bear Museum

    The Teddy Bear museum we are creating in the Romanian bear sanctuary is starting to be put together. Over 100 teddy bears have been donated so far and many of these are now sitting on shelves with name cards showing who donated them. At the recent event at the sanctuary to celebrate 10 years of rescuing and caring for bears in Romania, the Milioane de Prieteni (who manage the bear sanctuary and teddy museum) opened the museum doors to the local media to get a sneak preview. The photo here shows some of the bears in the museum but more are being added and the museum will be open to the public early in 2016.  see: 

  • 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.