Rescued from a backyard in Albania
On 7th of June 2019, the bear transporter finally reaches our BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz. In the transport box is brown bear Rocco, who has been rescued from a small cage in Albania.
Rocco lived on a private estate in Elbasan, Albania. The owner got the bear as a cub. Until we rescued him, Rocco's home was a tiny rusty cage behind metal bars and with a concrete floor. There wasn't any opportunity to bathe nor was there protection against wind, sun or rain. After eight years, the owner wanted to get rid of the bear, because having Rocco got too expensive.
On his first day here, Rocco accidently fell in the pool. But he seemed to enjoy the water.
His arrival at his new home
Rocco's arrival at our sanctuary was very emotional. After one night of acclimatization, Rocco could leave his box on the next morning for the first time and started to explore the new surroundings. He was very nervous and ran around his enclosure. The long trip, the new environment, the smell of other bears - it all demands time to process. Rocco can now slowly adjust to everything, step by step.
Because of his isolated keeping conditions in Albania, everything is new to him. That's why he accidently fell in his pool, he didn't know what it was. But he enjoyed the cold water and stayed for quite a while in it, splashing around and observing the surroundings.
Our animal caretakers observed him closely during the first days, until he started settling in. Rocco is still very cautious and sensitive to noises. But he eats a lot and slowly discovers his enclosure. That are very good signs.
Ever since then, Rocco has developed into a visitor favourite and a playful and agile bear. In 2021, he got the chance to move in with bear lady Luna, but the two unfortunately didn't get along in the longterm. A more detailed article about the socialisation can be found here.
- I come from: a private keeping in Elbasan, Albania
- I am: very sensitive to noises and get easily stressed and uncomfortable when surrounded by too many people
- What the animal caretakers say about me:
Rocco is still young and discovering himself and the world around him. There are many things that he experienced here for the first time, like for example swimming, toys and snow! He loves his enrichments and is very eager during medical training.
- Fun story about Rocco:
Winter of 2022 was a very special time for Rocco and the whole team at the BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz. For the first time in his life, Rocco followed his natural instincts and withdrew into hibernation. For exactly 2 month, he rested in a straw-filled tunnel. This was the result of careful planning from our animal caretakers: With several different den options to hibernate in, a species appropriate diet in quality and quantity and a good portion of luck, it's giving us hope for the next winter as well.
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