Brown bear Maya at BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz

Bear Maya († 2016)

hibernated for the longest periods


Maya was born in1983, in the Berner Oberland region of Switzerland. Together with her sons, Ben und Felix, she came to us at the BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz in July 2007 from the „Schwarzwaldpark Löffingen“ in the Black Forest. Maya had lived for many years together with her sons. This was actually a source of stress for the she-bear, as mothers and their offspring go their separate ways after around three years in the wilderness. Maya often had set-tos with Ben and Felix in the confined enclosures. She had only been at the BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz for four months, when she first went into hibernation. This was the first time she had enjoyed this gift of nature in her whole life.

Maya left the den she used to hibernated.

Maya left the den she used to hibernated.

In the following spring we separated Maya and her sons, in order to prevent further stress. From then on, she lived contentedly in one enclosure with Otto, Mascha and Susi. Maya was well-known for her habit of seeking tranquility. She loved hiding in the thickets of the wood. In each of the previous years, Maya had held the record for the  longest hibernation;  spending between five and six months in the winter regeneration was in no way unusual for her. In October 2015 Maya went into a hibernation from which she sadly never awoke, and she died peacefully. The death of the 33 year old she-bear was confirmed in May 2016.