Bärin Lelya

Brown bear Lelya

The newest member of our park

With her sister from the Ukraine

In 2019, bear Lelya and her sister Dasha were rescued from a restaurant in the Ukraine by the animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS and taken to the Domazhyr bear sanctuary.

Lelya has several medical problems that could not be treated in a timely manner due to the political situation in Ukraine. After intensive planning, she was transferred to Germany with her sister in 2023 in order to benefit from the proximity to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin.

Since June 2023, the two bear ladies have been able to call the BÄRENWALD Müritz their new home.

Dasha and Lelya

Dasha and Lelya are rarely found alone.

Life in a concrete cage

Before being rescued by FOUR PAWS, the two bear sisters lived in a small concrete cage in a restaurant and hotel business in Skole, Ukraine. After being born in captivity at a private recreation center in 2005, they were adopted as a tourist attraction in Skole in 2006.

In addition to Dasha and Lelya, other bears from the Domazhyr Bear Sanctuary also come from this hotel. Finally, in cooperation with the owners, Four Paws was able to end the company's bear keeping and offer the bears a more species-appropriate home.

Moving to Germany

In June 2023, the logistical planning was finally completed and the two bear sisters could start their transport from Domazhyr to Müritz.

We are very happy to support our partner sanctuary and to give these beautiful bears a new home.

Darker bear sister

Lelya and Dasha usually spend a lot of time together and have such a close bond that they even hibernate together from time to time.

Lelya is about 1.70 m tall and has a darker coat color than her sister. This makes the lighter neck markings much more evident on her.

Facts about Lelya


  • I come from: Skole, Lviv/Ukraine, and lived at the BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr from 2019 - 2023.
  • I am: the bear sister with the darker fur
  • What the caretakers say about me: Lelya is in charge of the sibling team and is more dominant than her sister Dasha. But that changes when it comes to exploring an unfamiliar situation - she prefers to orientate herself towards Dasha and lets her take precedence.