BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz
BEAR PARK Müritz now the largest bear sanctuary in Western Europe
BEAR PARK Müritz in Germany has celebrated its re-opening after major expansion works, in the presence of many visitors and politicians. The area size has been doubled and now covers 16 hectares: 7 out of the 8 newly added hectares are bear territory. The remaining space has been used to offer visitors a more diverse insight into the world of these fascinating animals.
Four of the current inhabitants of the bear park, Ben, Felix, Katja and Ida, will be the first to be transferred to one of the four new sectors. The woodland features a natural creek and several ponds: the latter are of particular interest to the bears as they enjoy bathing and playing in the water. The spacious environment matches the bears’ needs and has been enriched with food balls and other devices that demand skill and activity from the bears. Disrupting the regularity of feeding hours, an all-too-common procedure in zoos, is one of the key policies in FOUR PAWS wild animal sanctuaries. The bears have all been saved from inappropriate keeping conditions and are recovering rapidly from their acquired stereotypical behaviour patterns here. They will soon be joined by new arrivals. The expansion of the park has given FOUR PAWS the opportunity to look at other severe cases and take on additional bears.
On the bear trail
Visitors to the park, which opens daily in the summertime, can experience and learn a great deal about this native species. Alternating exhibitions revolve around these mighty animals, while the BEAR PARK Müritz school offers natural history at its best, when experienced FOUR PAWS animal keepers make the topic palpable – without disturbing the animals. Another sure favourite is the recreation area: a wooden tipi, ten metres high, is inviting visitors to relax underneath the star constellation of Ursa Major, and learn about the vast mythological background of bears. After more than a year of extensive work, BEAR PARK Müritz is now finally a refuge to both humans and animals.