view-countries-simple.phtml

Zărneşti: The Libearty Bear Sanctuary - A view from our expert author


The Libearty Bear Sanctuary at Zărneşti provides a refuge for bears rescued from captivity.

Brown bear, Libearty Bear Sanctuary, Transylvania, Romania by Paul Brummell Run by local NGO Milioane de Prieteni, with support from the UK-based charity World Animal Protection, the Libearty Bear Sanctuary is a remarkable place, with some 88 bears, mostly living in three large enclosures in 69ha of oak forest. Another five smaller enclosures cater for bears with specific problems. All of the bears in the sanctuary were rescued from captivity, and many of their tales are truly harrowing, such as that of Max, the blind bear from Sinaia who for years was chained up near Peleş Castle, where visiting tourists would pay to have their photo taken with him. They are also setting up a Teddy Bear Museum here centred around two huge bears donated by British bookmakers William Hill, which were originally used in a promotional campaign to encourage punters to take a flutter on the sex of a royal baby. Other bears have been donated by celebrities ranging from Brigitte Bardot to Luna Lovegood. There are also enclosures for wolves and deer. And yes, there are bears here named both Baloo and Yogi.  

(Photo: A brown bear at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary © Paul Brummell)

Back to the top

Transylvania articles

View all

Dracula destinations for you to get your teeth into

From the places mentioned in Bram Stoker’s novel to sites linked to the life of Vlad the Impaler, the real historical figure who served as an inspiration for the fictional count – if you're seeking serious Dracula tourism these are the best places in Transylvania to visit. 

Read more...

Five reasons to visit Transylvania

Whether you want to enjoy a slower pace of life in traditional rural villages or seek adventure in the surrounding mountains, Transylvania has something to offer every traveller. 

Read more...

Outdoor adventure in Transylvania

Transylvania is an attractive destination for those looking for an activity holiday. Here is a selection of the best outdoor experiences that the region has to offer. 

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all