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Bear Vela died at 28 years old


Vela has always been one of the last bears that was coming out of her den after the hibernation. This year she did not come at all.


Vela was born in 1989 in Russia and she came to Bulgaria as a bear cub. Being not a native Bulgarian bear, she was bigger and her fur was darker than of the other bears. Her experience and character made her a dominant bear in Sector 1 of the park.


Vela had the profession of “dancing bear” for many years till September 2005 when the team of the international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS had put an end to her tortures and gave her new home at the Dancing Bears Park in Belitsa. The psychical and mental abuse on the “working” bears has always been a challenge for the veterinarians and caretakers in the park in their efforts to return the primal instincts and tranquility of the tortured animals. Malnutrition, old wounds and injuries were only part of the accompanying problems.


Vela had difficulties in breathing due to distorted trachea that was caused most probably by the chains that were around her neck. Vela was mischievous, curious and had adapted to her new home very quickly although her health problem caused her to get tired very quickly. She was popular as the mostly sleepy bear during hibernation – she could sleep up to 167 days during winter.


In the last year of her life she was getting slower and sluggish and she preferred to spend her day in the shadows of a tree, but her advanced age did not stop her to swim  in the pool – one of her favorite hobbies.

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