Brown bear Sylvia at BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz

Bear Sylvia

A slightly wary but spirited bear


From the circus to our sanctuary

Sylvia and her brother Pavle lived together in a small cage on the property of a Serbian circus. There they were exposed to rain, cold, and sun, living a desolate life. In October 2016, the two brown bears were confiscated and were temporarily transferred to the Belgrade zoo. There, the bears received proper care as well as species-appropriate food and were able to gain enough strength for their trip to BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz.

Since November 2017, the two siblings are living at our rescue center in Germany. They have adjusted well since and sometimes even hibernate together.

Playtime for Sylvia.

Playtime for Sylvia.

The close bond with her brother Pavle

Sylvia is a bit smaller than her brother Pavle, with whom she has a very strong bond. The two bears are truly inseparable, and they even spend the winter in a common den. During the first days of her arrival at the sanctuary, Sylvia was still very wary and anxious. However, over time she adapted well and adjusted to her new environment, as well as to her animal caretakers.

Sylvia is missing part of her front paw. It is believed that while living in captivity, her front paw got caught in the metal bars of her cage. Since the injury was not properly treated at the time, a part of her paw is somewhat deformed. Sylvia likes to bathe and in spite of her disability has no problem running or playing. She loves to eat eggs and grapes.

Facts about Sylvia

  • I come from: a Serbian circus
  • I like to: play in my pond
  • What the animal caretaker say about me: 
    Sylvia can react quite aggressively towards other bears. At first, she was very wary of men, but that has changed with time. She and her brother Pavle have a very close bond.
  • Fun story about Sylvia:
    Interior design choices are obviously a matter of opinion. And Sylvia has a lot of them. One year, when she was starting to prepare for hibernation, she started dragging little lumps of dirt into the bear hourse, in the attempt to build a den. Our caretakers appreciated her efforts and offered some hay, so that the bear house would be warm and snuggly for her. Sylvia on the other hand didn't seem to appreciate the idea and spontaneously disappeared with her brother into the woods, where they were seen again 4 month later. It is still unknown where exactly they hibernated, but they definitely did not touch the straw.

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