Care and Quality of Life

Socialisation has a positive effect on the social behaviour of the bears.
© FOUR PAWS / Mihai Vasile

A bear has requirements from his habitat which can hardly be fulfilled in captivity.  The BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz provides the animals with living conditions which strive to simulate those of the wilderness.   Specially devised activities help the bears to shake off their behavioural disorders.   



Medical care


During the course of its transfer to the BEAR SANCTUARY and upon arrival at the sanctuary, a bear is given medical treatment and examined to establish its general health. Dental treatment and any necessary medical examinations are undertaken and, as the BEAR SANCTUARY specifically does not act as a breeding institution, males are castrated.





After its arrival and initial medical care, the bear is placed in an acclimatisation enclosure. It can get used to being able to move around freely and explore the surroundings. Vets and keepers can observe the animal under ideal conditions during this time.  After a period of acclimatization, the connecting tunnels to neighbouring enclosures are opened. Now the exploration really begins and the bear can begin getting to know his fellows of the species.      





Although brown bears are loners in the wild, we socialize them in our bear sanctuaries; they live together in small groups: This has a really positive effect on the behaviour of each individual bear: A big bonus is the fact that, because of the social interaction and the different activities the bears undertake together, the behavioural disorders are more quickly cast off.  





"Behavioral and Environmental Enrichment"is  the scientific term for this part of the work at the Bear Park. Some bears develop serious behavioural disorders during the long years of their captivity and  these can only be stabilised slowly but surely in the new habitat of the BEAR SANCTUARY. To this end, we enrich their surroundings and promote their natural behaviour.  


The target is to create conditions for the bears which are orientated on the living conditions they would find in the wilderness. So they are not fed, but have to "find" their food where it has been hidden. As in the wild, the bear is thus occupied with the search for food for a large proportion of its time. Various goal-orientated activities teach the bear to (re)discover the enjoyment of digging, climbing and swimming. 



 Nature's very own rhythm 


There is another important part of the project; the bears themselves are able to determine their own daily routine, each following his own individual rhythm. Even the realisation of seasonal behaviour presents no obstacle -  the natural design of the sanctuary grounds even allows the bears to dig themselves out a cavern for hibernation. 



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