News & Blog

  • Bears caged next to a restaurant in Sochi could find sanctuary in Romania

    Bears caged next to a restaurant in Sochi could find sanctuary in Romania

    Two European brown bears have lived a miserable life for 20 years in a cage next to a restaurant in Sochi, Russia, where they are used to attract customers to the restaurant.  They are fed on scraps of food and their filthy cage is littered with bottles, plastic bags and food cartons.  Visitors have even fed the bears beer for amusement.

    This situation in Sochi (which achieved world fame for hosting the 2014 Olympics) resembles the one in Romania 10 years ago, before all the bears were rescued from cages outside gas stations and restaurants.  Those lucky bears were taken to the Libearty bear sanctuary in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania and now the cruel practice of keeping bears for private entertainment in Romania is banned.

    The Libearty bear sanctuary is managed by the Romanian animal protection group called ASOCIATIA MILIOANE DE PRIETENI - AMP (Millions of Friends) and their President Cristina Lapis has now offered a space at the sanctuary for the bears from Sochi – if the Sochi authorities agree to confiscate the bears from their illegal and cruel caged life.

    The sanctuary has a 1.5 acre forest enclosure with a water pool, den and oak trees that is waiting for these bears.  All we need now is for the Sochi authorities to agree to let these bears be moved to the sanctuary – and the funds to do it.

    The AMP are working with the World Animal Protection and the Big Hearts Foundation to lobby the Russian authorities to rescue the bears from the cages.  The World Animal Protection are trying to raise the funds to move the bears from Russia to Romania (World Animal Protection ). 

    Any update on progress with this rescue operation will be reported here.

    You can read the full story of the Romanian bear sanctuary in the book – Bear Sanctuary, available at:

  • Museum of Teddy Bears at the Libearty bear sanctuary

    Libearty Teddy Bear Museum - Romania

    A new teddy bear museum will be opening in Romania later this year – at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in central Transylvania.  The bear sanctuary is now home to 80 rescued brown bears where they live a peaceful life in an amazing forested sanctuary after being rescued from terrible captive conditions in old and dirty cages.

    Now the sanctuary is open to visitors who come to see the bears and to learn about their stories.  Schools also send classes so the children can learn about wildlife protection and animal welfare.

    As part of the visitor experience the sanctuary is now creating a museum of teddy bears which will be housed in the main building of the bear sanctuary. This will include teddy bears in National costume from many countries and also some exceptional bears made by specialist teddy bear makers from around the world.

    This museum will be the first of its kind in Romania and it is certain to be a huge attraction.  This will bring more visitors, and their entrance fees to the sanctuary will help to cover the costs of caring for the bears and rescuing others.  The rescued bears eat over a tonne of food every day – so it is an expensive business to care for all the bears.

    So watch this space for news of the Libearty Teddy Bear Museum in Romania.

    If you are a Teddy Bear maker why not make a bear or choose one from your collection to donate to the new museum?  Or if you can find a teddy bear in the National costume of your country (often on sale at airports), or with something on it to symbolise your country – that bear could also be displayed at the museum.  If you are interested in donating a teddy bear for the museum please contact us at .

    You can also read the full story of the rescued bears in the book – Bear Sanctuary, available at: .  

  • Bears in the snow

    2014 was a busy year for everyone working at the Libearty bear sanctuary in Romania.  During the year more bears were rescued from cruel and illegal captive conditions in Romania and they are now spending their first winter in the freedom of the forest sanctuary where they can experience snow on their backs and paws while walking freely through the forest sanctuary. They can sleep in a warm earth den after eating a good meal of fruit and vegetables which the sanctuary workers give the bears each day.

    There are now 80 rescued bears living in the Romanian bear sanctuary – but there are still a few more to rescue in 2015.

    If you want to give someone a special present for 2015 – why not give them a bear adoption?  See: to adopt one of the Romanian rescued bears and get an adoption certificate for a friend.  You can also get the book – Bear Sanctuary as a gift, and maybe this year you could even make a visit to the Libearty bear sanctuary to see the bears enjoying their freedom. 

  • Two bears moved from Spanish rescue centre to Hungarian bear sanctuary.

    Bear relaxing in Hungary bear sanctuary.


    Two elderly bears, sisters Laica and Mel, were recently moved from a caged area in a wildlife rescue centre in northern Spain to the large open grassy bear sanctuary in the town of Veresegyhaz in Hungary.

    Laica and Mel were born at the Spanish rescue centre after their parents were rescued from a circus in the late 1990’s, but the two female European brown bears spent the remaining 18 years in a large cage at the centre until the Catalonian government decided to find a better home for the bears.

    The bear sanctuary in Hungary agreed to take them and in September 2014 the bears finally had the chance to mix with the 30 other rescued bears at the sanctuary. Spanish group FAADA and Hungarian group White Cross helped with the move and the World Animal Protection funded the transport which was undertaken by Spanish company called ZooTransfer.  The bears were placed in transport cages and travelled 24 hours by road to reach the sanctuary.

    Laica and Mel had never been able to swim in fresh water or climb trees and mix with other bears but now, at last, they can spend their remaining years relaxing in the grassy meadows of the sanctuary and joining the other rescued bears playing in the large water pools.

    Too many bears are still kept in cages throughout Europe, where they spend their lives sitting on concrete without any chance of even touching grass or trees.  Mel and Laica are the lucky ones and hopefully a few more bears could be moved from similar caged conditions to the Hungarian sanctuary in the coming months.

    The story of the Hungarian bear sanctuary can be found in the book Bear Sanctuary:

  • Libearty Bear Sanctuary – TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

    Libearty Bear Sanctuary – TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

    The Libearty bear sanctuary has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the travel website TRIPADVISOR, signifying that it has consistently earned outstanding feedback from TripAdvisor travellers who have visited the bear sanctuary in Romania. 

    Read some of the comments from visitors to the sanctuary at:


    If you want to visit the sanctuary take a look at the Libearty sanctuary website at:

    Or why not take a challenge and make a trek through the Carpathian Mountains with the chance to visit the bear sanctuary and to raise funds for it.  For further details see: