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Bears to begin new lives in Romanian forest sanctuary

Aug 21, 2013

A bear from Onesti zoo explores the forest surroundings of Zarnesti bear sanctuary.

Fantastic news! Together with local partner, Asociatia Milioane De Prieteni (AMP), we have re-homed two remaining bears from Onesti Zoo in Romania. 

In 2012, we discovered five bears living in inhumane conditions at the zoo. In November 2012, we were able to re-home the three youngest animals, transferring them to a WSPA-funded bear sanctuary in Zarnesti.

Since then, AMP has worked with the mayor of Onesti to release the remaining bears from their metal and concrete cages. Now, Gheorghe (named after St George) and Doru (which means ‘missing you’) have finally joined the other bears at the sanctuary. Currently, they’re under quarantine, receiving the best possible medical care, but soon they’ll be released into the main enclosure with their companions. 

Liviu Cioineag, manager of the bear sanctuary, said: “we can now reunite Gheorge and Doru with the three bears we took from the old zoo last year.  Now they can spend their retirement in the comfort of the forest sanctuary... I hope to see them swimming in the pools and climbing trees for the first time in their lives soon. This is the best part of my job – to see the bears free and enjoying the forest.”

Zarnesti is now a beautiful home to over 70 bears previously held in neglected zoos and used as tourist attractions. Thank you to all our supporters for helping make this work possible. We’ll bring you more updates on their progress when we have them.

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