🇩🇪 Bear Essentials II – Barenwald Müritz

More of the bare facts!

Barenwald Müritz

On our second outing about an hour’s drive from Rostock through the greenest German forests we headed to Barenwald Müritz. This means bear sanctuary in English. This is a bear park run by the Four Paws animal activist association which also has links with animal care in Australia. Their goal is to educate people so that we live in a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy understanding.


Opened in 2006 this 16 hectares of lush forest provides a safe haven and care for mistreated bears. The natural open air environment allows the bears to roam and use their senses as nature intended with no concrete or metal cages onsite. A place of which gives high respect back to a beautiful wild animal, rehabilitation and educates humans on how animals should not ever be treated!!!


After walking through the beautiful forest trail along side the fenced areas for about ten minutes we thought maybe we weren’t going to have any luck – suddenly we were viewing a big brown beauty there soaking in a shady rock pool – this bear stole our hearts. Just lazying on its back enjoying the refreshing waters on a warm day. Its head poking out looking almost human. I think this is what you call a show stopper!!!


As we wandered around we were amazed how close up we got to these beautiful bears which looked really quite tame, but instinct told us not to test out our theory. Look but don’t touch!!!! An interesting thing here was once again dogs on leads were allowed into the park. Coming with only an Australian insight we find this so funny. It’s like the good old Australian tucker box dog has been excluded from family life.

The overwhelming heartbreaking story came from a bear that was limping. Her name is Sylvia and she was removed along with her brother from a Serbian circus in a tiny cage with no protection from the elements of the weather – sun, rain or wind! Part of her paw was also missing assumed due to the fact that in captivity she had becoming entangled in a fence.



The park was full of interactive educational learning stations. One was exploring how overwhelmed a bear would feel in a circus environment. Here are the bare facts we learnt about bears.


* Bears are solidarity animals who only seek out other bears during mating season.

* Here is a visual photo of a bear’s daily consumption of food looks like over each season.


* Ever thought bears are considered predators? Their diet consists of an 80% vegetarian diet and 20% fish and meat!

* During hibernation bears lose a lot of weight. Just like intermittent fasting a male bear loses 22% and a female loses 40% for their body weight. Women don’t seem to be blessed with bear’s dieting genes even when we do try to get more sleep than our male counterparts.


* A brown bear can jump 3 meters!!!

Now the sad facts…

* Four Paws animal welfare has reported that in Europe many bears still live in poor and or illegal conditions. Some bears are still kept privately as pets!! They are kept behind bars and chains by restaurants owners as tourist attractions. A lot of these bears are forced to perform tricks so tourist pay money to take their photo.


* Worst of all they can also be used in dog fights or to help train hunting dogs.

* It is also still seen as a tradition and culturally appropriate to keep a bear in a concrete castle moat which Rob and I have witnessed on our travels.


* For hundreds of years in Eastern Europe bears were taught by a painful nose pin to dance for tourists. Their paws were burnt which was so scarring that they became obedient slaves. Who is the real savage???


* The keeping of sun bears and Asia bears in Vietnam is another cruel form of inhuman torture preformed on bears. Still around 1300 bears still live in poor conditions and are being used for bile. Four Paws rescues 100 of these bears a year from their cruel conditions.

As humans we need to critically question the actual quality of life of a bear in captivity. Thank goodness there are organisations like Four Paws out there trying to stop non animal friendly treatment towards bears and other animals.

Check out this visual timeline of what is predicted to happen if we don’t stop and start thinking about what is happening to the population of bears! The reality is the forests will be bare of bears!!!




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