Balou the bear
Since 2012 Balou lives at our rescue center. He got here together with his father Siggi (†) from a german zoo in Hellenthal. With his 2,20 metre height, Balou is one of the tallest bears at BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz. He is very strong and likes to test his strength against the trees in the forest.
Into the water or would you prefer to stay in the sun? Difficult decision for Balou.
Terrible keeping conditions at Wildgehege Hellenthal
Balou was born in 2002 at Wildgehege Hellenthal in Germany and was held under horrible conditions: No possibility to withdraw, no piece of grassland that he could access. The little bit of vegetation was separated from him with electric fences.
Balou was very close to his father Siggi. Right after his arrival, Balou didn't want to leave the transport box. But because his father did, he followed. Step by step they discovered their new home. Father and son even hibernated together. When Siggi passed away in 2017, it was a hard time for Balou. Our animal caretakers could feel how much Balou missed him. But with time he got used to the new situation and still enjoys roaming the enclosure and watch the visitors.
His hobbies: Taking a bath and playing in the woods
Like Baloo from the Jungle Book, our Balou is a big fan of lakes and ponds, too. He loves to go for a swim! When he isn't playing with sticks and branches in the water, Balou explores his enclosure, looks for hidden treats or relaxes in a comfortable hollow somewhere in the woods.
Balou is also one of the bears that visitors are most likely to see when visiting our sanctuary. Over the last years, he decided that observing the visitors was more interesting than hibernating, and could usually be seen resting in front of his bear house, patrolling the enclosure or inspecting the snowy enrichments our animal caretakers prepared for this smart bear.
Lately we have been observing longer lasting periods of resting in the bear house though, which gives us hope that Balou is slowly rediscovering his natural instincts and might decide to hibernate next year - even if he has to do it without Siggi.
- I come from: the german zoo "Wildgehege Hellenthal"
- I am: one of the tallest bears at the sanctuary
- What the animal caretakers say about me:
Balou is a very strong and creative bear, who is highly food motivated. While this helps with teaching him medical training behaviours like opening his mouth, he gets easily frustrated, and the caretakers have to pay special attention to the timing for delivering his treats.
- Fun story about Balou:
If Balou is around, the caretakers have to be especially attentive: This smart bear has learned how to open carabiners and has very creative problem solving skills. More than once did he take apart enrichments that where thoroughly installed in his enclosure so he could hang out with them in his favourite pool.
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