Celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Romanian bear sanctuary

16 October 2015

Libearty, the bear sanctuary we created with Asociatia Milioane de Prieteni (Millions of Friends Association), has been rescuing and looking after bears for a decade. Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter, is visiting the sanctuary with us to celebrate.

Bears in Romania are caught as cubs and used for entertainment. But thankfully, this is no longer as prominent a practice as it was over ten years ago.

We’ve been working closely with Asociatia Milioane de Prieteni (Millions of Friends Association) to help save Romanian bears from a life of torture and terrible living conditions. In 2005, along with Millions of Friends Association, we started building a high welfare bear sanctuary called Libearty – and this October we are very excited to be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Bears used for entertainment are so badly mistreated from such a young age that they are affected for the rest of their lives. The building of the sanctuary was prompted because 40 bears were found suffering in tiny, rusty cages across Romania.

Cristi (pictured on the left of the photo below) and Lydia were the first captive bears to be rescued.

These beautiful bears needed somewhere where they could be truly loved and looked after, not used – so we created Libearty.

The bears at the sanctuary are treated with proper veterinary care and are free to roam across 75 acres of the sanctuary’s 170 acre forest. Roads and sanctuary buildings make up a part of the remaining space – and the rest is left as forest which could be used for more enclosures in the future, if needed.

84 Romanian bears have been rescued by Millions of Friends Association since 2005, and currently 80 live there as four of them have died of old age.

Celebrating 10 years of Libearty with Luna

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter films) is an animal lover and supports our work. She’s at the sanctuary for two days this week helping celebrate a decade of bear care in Romania.

Head over to Evanna’s Twitter account to see her celebrating the happy lives that these bears are now able to live.

You can also find out more about the work we do for bears on our Stop cruelty to bears page.

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