Romania 2023. Day 2. Bear Sanctuary
Libearty Bear Sanctuary by Millioane de Prieteni (Millions of Friends) is cool place and worth a visit just for the history of the place and of the bears.
The whole thing started as a dog shelter in 1999, but since 2005 they've been taking care of bears, too. Look at them go. Or, well, look at them be leisurely:
They are taking care of 126 bears. And they are still getting animals rescued from private homes and illegal zoos.
These bears are in a limbo state:
- they are still wild animals (that's why all the photos are taken from a safe distance from behind a fence)
- if you release them into the wild, they will come back to people because they've grown dependent on them for food. In extreme cases they can't even take care of themselves because they have been declawed, and their teeth have been removed
So the sanctuary adopts these bears, sterilises them (so that no cubs are born in captivity to perpetuate the cycle), and gives them a huge chunk of a forest to roam, with lakes, pools, trees, places to build dens and so on. And also treats them, takes care of them, monitors their health, and provides them with additional food (because there 126 bears after all).
Each bear comes with its own story, and many of them make you lose all faith in humanity. But the sanctuary restores that fate, because the people who work there are awesome.