News & Blog

  • 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:

  • Libearty Sanctuary Officially Opened

    Libearty Bear Sanctuary – officially opened in May 2014

    The Libearty bear sanctuary located in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, Romania – was officially opened on May 14th 2014.  Work there has progressed since 2005 to create Europe’s largest bear sanctuary and today it has around 30 hectares of oak forested enclosures where 78 rescued bears live a free and happy life.

    The opening event was attended by Cristina Lapis (President of the AMP who manage the sanctuary) and Mike Baker (CEO of the WSPA who designed and financed most of the construction and running costs of the sanctuary).  Mayors from Zarnesti and Brasov as well as Ministers from the Romanian government came to give the sanctuary its official opening.

    Romanian and foreign tourists can now visit the sanctuary to see the bears – see below if you want to make a visit. 

    The sanctuary has added attractions to make a visit an unforgettable experience – a tree-top observation platform, a small church (the only one in Romania which will hold animal blessings), a ‘bear-train’ to take you around the sanctuary and even a real North American Wigwam which will be used to host school children’s educational visits.

     There are still a few bears to rescue from illegal captivity in Romania and these will soon join the others for a peaceful life at the sanctuary.


    If you want to visit the sanctuary and see the bears for yourself, take a look at the sanctuary website at: .  The tours start each day from Tuesday to Sunday from 9, 10 and 11 AM. Please make your visiting reservations by calling the sanctuary main office in Brasov on: +40 268 471 202, or by email:

    You can also read the full story of the rescued bears in the book – Bear Sanctuary

  • Bear Hugs


    Gina and Sophia are sisters, born in the forests of Romania in early 2006.  But these young European brown bears were caught by hunters just after they emerged from their winter den with their mother, and were sold to a mini-zoo which used the cuddly cubs as a tourist attraction, along with several adult bears and a lion.

    Luckily for these sisters the Romanian bear sanctuary found out about them and were able to legally confiscate the cubs just a few months later, along with the other animals.  Gina and Sophia now live with over 70 rescued bears in the huge forest sanctuary high up on the hills above the town of Zarnesti.  As the photo shows, they still enjoy a sisterly get together now and then and are looking quite grown up at the age of 9 years old.

    If you want to see more photos of Gina and Sophia – take a look at: and why not adopt them and get a certificate to show your support of Europe’s biggest bear sanctuary?


    If you want to visit the sanctuary and see the bears for yourself, take a look at the sanctuary website at: .  The tours start each day from Tuesday to Sunday from 9, 10 and 11 AM. Please make your visiting reservations by calling the sanctuary main office in Brasov on: +40 268 471 202, or by email:

    You can also read the full story of Gina and Sophia in the book – Bear Sanctuary

  • Thinking about hibernation.

    Winter bed-time.

    As winter draws in and the weather gets colder the bears at the Libearty bear sanctuary in Romania have one thought on their minds – sleep.  The sanctuary staff provide lots more food at this time of the year so the bears fatten up and get ready for their long winter sleep.  The bears are able to sleep for a few months during the snowy weather as they live off their fat stored from the past weeks of eating everything in sight.

    Now they are sleepy and are looking for a den to snooze away the winter, just as the wild bears are doing in the mountains around the bear sanctuary.  Some bears in the sanctuary will sleep deep inside dens they have dug for themselves, while some will sleep in a large ‘bird’s nest’ of branches they have pulled together on the ground. But as the sanctuary staff always make sure there is food for the bears throughout the winter, some of the bears fight the urge to sleep and stay up throughout the snowy weather and seem to enjoy playing in the snow.  But most bears are very sleepy around now and doze off at any opportunity.

    Don’t forget – if you want to give someone a special Christmas present this year – 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 Christmas gift, and maybe next year you could even make a visit to the Libearty bear sanctuary to see the bears enjoying their freedom.