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Ten little bears ready for the winter


The Bear Orphan Station Harghita in Romania prepares orphaned bear cubs for a future in the wild. Ten little bears are now nicely fed for the winter and will soon retreat into their winter dens.

The ten bears currently being prepared at the station for a life in the wild are all healthy and well fed – an important requirement for a good start in the winter. For now they are still active and are climbing around in the trees, but they will soon withdraw into their lairs to hibernate.

As the Harghita facility is already rather old, last summer saw the construction of new enclosures. Over winter work will be carried out to renew the fencing. “The first snow has already fallen, but the ground is not yet frozen hard. So we can still hammer in the fence posts and complete the new fence for the station before spring”, explains Leonardo Bereczky.

Every year in Romania, three to ten bear cubs are found. There are about 5,000 bears thought to be living in the forests of Carpathia and Transylvania; this is the second biggest bear population in Europa after Russia. But the population of brown bears in Romania is threatened daily by poachers and by the damage done to the brown bears' habitat. Human interference, either by way of poachers or land developers, has either killed or removed many bears, often adults, from the forest. Bear cubs need their mothers in order to survive, and often become orphans due to human actions, rather than natural causes.