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: http://amzn.to/pWBWaQ