brown bears Michal and Tapsi

Tapsi and Michal

A love story


An exceptional love story

It is pretty heartwarming when you watch our brown bears Tapsi and Michal in our sanctuary. These two bears are a couple that is particular exception because bears are solitary animals. In the wild, bears join together only for a short period during the mating season. Afterwards they are on separate ways again. Of course, a female bear takes care of her cubs for about three years but when they are old enough, mother and offspring go their ways. Knowing all these facts, it is surprising that Tapsi and Michal live together as a couple in the sanctuary. When you search for Tapsi it is for sure Michal is not far away. When Michal is resting in the shade of the trees, you can discover Tapsi sleeping not far away. Both bears even spend the winter hibernation together.

Love at first sight

Tapsi and her father Bummi came to the sanctuary in 2012 where they moved into a large forest enclosure. When Bummi died in April 2013, however, it was very difficult for the bear lady to cope with the new situation. Tapsi simply stopped eating which was worrying for our team. We hoped that maybe a new partner could give her the courage to face life again. So, Tapsi was socialised with the much younger bear Michal during the mating season. Both got along fantastically from the beginning and this has not changed until today. 

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No day without Tapsi

Even when our team wanted to separate the pair, it failed because of the bond between the two. The separation should only last for short time in spring. The team wanted to make sure that Tapsi, an older bear with arthritis in her hips, would be able to withstand the advances of the tempestuous and strong Michal. So a temporary fence was set in the enclosure to keep them apart during mating season. But Michal did not like at all. He quickly dug a way through the fence because he did not want to be without Tapsi.

Christine Heberer and Conny Sarfert

Brown bears Tapsi and Michal