From Brasov, you may choose a day trip to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, 160 acres of pristine hazel and oak forest dedicated to preserving Romanian bears. The Transylvanian town of Zarnesti donated the land. The sanctuary operates under the auspices of Milioane de Prieteni (Millions of Friends) of Brasov, allowing animals formerly held in captivity to experience a wild, natural life free of cruelty and lack.
Within recent memory, bears in Romania were commonly used as attractions, both in zoos and in the harsh context of small roadside cages. Completely separated from their instincts and habitat and often deprived of the most straightforward necessities for health and survival, the bears suffered immensely. Libearty has put an end to the wrongdoing forced upon these beautiful and intelligent creatures and can take in bears from zoos unable to meet heightened care standards. These bears would otherwise have faced euthanasia.
The first 50 of the sanctuary’s bears arrived out of lives of abject misery, as many had been captured from the wild and held without respite in small, rusty, inhumane cages. These bears can now roam free in giant, forested enclosures containing hibernation dens and warm freshwater pools.
The sanctuary is now home to 70 bears, who often choose to play and rest near its borders. This makes it possible for visitors to observe happy, healthy bears living in a natural, almost-wild setting—much to the delight of children and families. Common sense must be used, and respect for the bears must be followed; their welfare is protected by allowing them space and freedom. Visits are limited but can be arranged with advance notice.