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Arosa Bear Sanctuary: The call of the wild

Welcome to the Arosa Bear Sanctuary, where rescued bears can spend the rest of their lives in the rural wilds of Switzerland

Arosa Bear Sanctuary: The call of the wild
Napa at Arosa Bear Sanctuary

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What’s our story?
Eight years ago, the tourism director of Arosa, Pascal Jenny, came across the Bear Park Bern and encountered two bears who needed a new home. Unfortunately a rehoming project never materialised, but in 2012, the animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS saw Arosa as a potentially ideal location for a bear sanctuary and started working with the local tourism authority to make the dream a reality. On a patch of land near the Arosa Weisshorn cable car, the Arosa Bear Sanctuary began: an enclosure, stables and a viewing platform brought the plans to life, and the Arosa Bear Sanctuary finally opened its doors to the public in August 2018.

A sense of place
Arosa combines an inner and outer enclosure of almost nine acres for bears rescued from a life of captivity. Rolling green meadows, shrubs, rocks, ponds and woods offer a true sense of the wild for these majestic beasts. Visitors can join a guided tour to learn more about the bears and their spectacular new surroundings, or admire them in the sanctuary’s various discovery areas. It’s the perfect day out for families, with a mini golf course and the ‘Bear School’ — an adventure playground for the kids that demands all the skills a bear cub would need to survive in the wild, too: climbing, jumping, hiding, balancing and sliding.

Meet Napa
Big, bright and curious, Napa is a 12-year-old brown bear who’d spent many years in captivity in circus shows back in his native Serbia. He was freed by the animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS as well as the Serbian government in November 2016, and was then temporarily brought to Palic Zoo in Serbia. His new life in Switzerland began in July this year, when he was finally moved to the Arosa Bear Sanctuary to enjoy his new, natural habitat. He’d never felt grass under his paws before, but took to the rolling green hills of his new home straightaway and now enjoys a diet of fruit, vegetables and meat from the local butcher in Arosa.

Did you know?
Napa’s fur is distinctively lighter than you’d expect for a brown bear. This is because his genetic make-up is 25% polar bear and 75% brown bear.

To find out more, visit arosabaerenland.ch or arosalenzerheide.swiss/en