Brown bear Michal at BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz

Bear Michal

A playful and very curious bear 


Three-legged bear who loves swimming

Since September 2011, Michal lives at our BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz. Before his rescue, he was kept under terrible conditions at the zoo Braniewo in Poland. His enclosure there was only 60 square meters "big" and he spent his days sitting on concrete. During a fight with another bear, Michal lost his foreleg. With very serious behavioural issues, he was limbing in circles in the concrete enclosure, probably looking for a way out. 

Luckily, we managed to get him out of there. Since he got to our sanctuary, he completely changed and became a total different bear. He loves swimming, digs holes, plays with branches and sticks and enjoys his life here a lot. His missing foreleg doesn't stop him from anything.

Michal is like a little "show bear".

Michal is like a little "show bear".

Michal on solo trails again

In spring 2013, we socialized him with bear lady Tapsi. Michal helped her through a very tough time, when Tapsi's father Bummi passed away. Being with Michal distracted her from the sadness. The bears had a strong connection and spent most of the time together. Even in winter they shared a den for hibernation. Tapsi, who was about 13 years older than Michal, unfortunately had to be separated from him again in the summer of 2022 due to health issues, so Michal has been solo again ever since.

With his very curious and playful way of being, Michal has a lot of fans and our visitors like to watch him playing in the woods. He often stays near the visitors, tries out weird-looking relaxing poses or runs around in the grass.

Facts about Michal

  • I come from: zoo Braniewo in Poland
  • I am: one of the biggest bears in the park, who hasn't fully grown into his strength yet and is still testing it whenever given the possibility.
  • What the animal caretakers say about me: 
    Michal wants to get along with all the bears. He is very food motivated and enjoys playing in the water very much, especially with big branches.
  • Fun story about Michal: 
    One of our animal caretakers was approached by a mother and her daughter while feeding Michal. Out of curiosity, they asked about his missing front paw and we explained, how he lost it due to another bear, but how he was thriving, living his best life and how he loved playing with the biggest tree trunk he could find! The little girl stepped closer to the fence and said happily: "He's doing great, just like me!" 
    She was also missing an arm, but had just found her new favourite bear.

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