News & Blog

  • New bear enclosure under construction. June 2012

    Work is well underway at the Libearty bear sanctuary in Romania to build a third large forested enclosure.  This will provide the extra space needed to care for the remaining 20 or so bears still known to be kept in illegal captive conditions around the country.

    The sanctuary currently has just over 60 rescued brown bears living in large forested enclosures where they are able to live a more natural life after years of captivity in small cages.

    The new enclosure could be finished by September and will provide an additional 8 hectares of forest, including water pools and den areas for the rescued bears.  On completion of this new enclosure the sanctuary will then have a total of around 28 hectares of oak forest enclosed by protective fences for the bears to live in.

    As soon as the work is completed the bear sanctuary will work with the Romanian authorities to legally confiscate the remaining captive bears.  I will give an update here as soon as that work starts.

  • Trek to the bear sanctuary in Romania.

    If you would like to visit the Romanian bear sanctuary – and help the bears by doing so - you could join a sponsored Trek in Romania this September. 

    Walking up to 50 miles in 4 days through the stunning Carpathian mountains of Romania, visiting the famous Bran (Dracula) Castle and then spending a day at the Romanian bear sanctuary – this challenge is achievable for most people given some training and determination. If you embrace new experiences, enjoy new cultures and want to challenge yourself as well as help bears then this trek is for you.

    Since September 2007 over 100 people have taken part in WSPA’s Romanian Bear Adventure. The experience has been the experience of a lifetime for many of the trekkers.  For more information go to:  http://www.wspa.org.uk/helping/raisemoney/bearadventure.aspx

  • New cool white bear at Libearty Bear Sanctuary (February 2012)

    Most of the 60 rescued brown bears are still sleeping through their winter hibernation in the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania, and the sanctuary has been covered with snow for the past couple of months.  But the sanctuary staff were pleased to see the arrival of a new bear recently – a large white one!  See the photo – the rare SnowBear (Ursus snowflakus) is the 61st bear to reside at the bear sanctuary, but being a winter visitor he will not be staying very long. Hopefully the SnowBear will revisit every year from now on.

  • Greece – bear cubs released back to the wild (Posted February 2012)

    A pair of endangered brown bear cubs (named Little John and Nikitas ) have been released back into the wild after nine months care and rehabilitation at the ARCTUROS Environmental Centre in northern Greece. The cubs had been found orphaned at a couple of months of age and would not have survived in the wild without their mother.

    The bear cubs were brought to the ARCTUROS’ bear rehabilitation facilities early in 2011 where they learned essential survival skills in a large enclosure of natural forest with conditions similar to the natural habitat of the brown bear. Prior to their release, a spot was selected in the bear's natural range in the forests of North-Western Greece and a hibernation den was dug for the bears. Due to the presence of a metre of snow on the frozen ground and the need to set up a suitably durable webcam inside the den, the process took three days.

    The young bears were then sedated and examined by experts from the Veterinary School of Aristotle at the University of Thessaloniki. Although the young bears weighed only 50kg each, four men were needed to carry the sedated bear cubs through the deep snow to the den. After waking from sedation, the bears briefly explored their new home and returned to hibernation exactly as the Arcturos staff had hoped. The cubs are being monitored in their den via the webcam and they will be tracked by GPS-enabled collars when they wake during spring and renew their lives in the forests of Greece.

    Commenting, Scientific Director of ARCTUROS, Alexandros Karamanlidis said “This was the first time that ARCTUROS had rehabilitated bear cubs for release back into the wild”, adding that “This has been a very innovative project for Greece and a valuable tool for conservation of brown bear populations throughout Europe.” Brown bears are amongst the most severely endangered mammals in Greece where less than 300 survive in the wild.

  • Sanctuary information update

    I have posted new updates on the Bear Sanctuaries Around the World page.  Read about the great work of bear sanctuaries in Idaho, Greece, Alaska and others. All of these sanctuaries need support to care for rescued bears and to undertake public awareness on the need for better protection of bears and their environment.