ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My visit to Libearty bear sanctuary - the bears' stories

Updated on October 6, 2016

My story of the Libearty Bear Sanctuary

In May 2016 I volunteered at Libearty Bear Sanctuary for a week. I was helping to prepare food for 84 hungry bears who are fed daily. Most of my time was spent in the food preparing area, alone or with the staff members. But on a daily basis as I would arrive, eat my lunch and leave the premises, I got to take a close exciting look about the rescued bears at the sanctuary - all of which were abused, locked in tiny cages, malnourished, performing bears from the circus industry, or cubs whom their mothers have been killed.

As of this date, the sanctuary accommodated 84 bears. Even the feeders, caretakers, and managers can't memorize and recognize them all by name. Still, there are many bears who are quite well-known and loved (not that the other ones lack in being loved).

So here is a list of a few - the ones I know:

The bear who was blinded by his owners

Max in his enclosure enjoying lunch after years of abuse
Max in his enclosure enjoying lunch after years of abuse
And lying
And lying | Source
And lying more
And lying more

Max

Everybody loves Max. His enclosure is built into the tour's route so every visitor could hear about his story.
Some guides and workers address to Max's story as "The saddest one in the sanctuary".
Max's a good quiet boy. Doesn't move much but fluffy and impressive and adorable.

Max's story

Being only a few months old, he was held captive in the town of Sinaia, near the famous Peleş castle. There, the tourists passing by would pay for a photograph next to the bear. But nobody knew that Max was blind. Popular opinion suggests he was blinded as a cub to prevent him from reacting to the flashes of cameras. This is not the only traumatic event he's suffered. During his “detention”, his canine teeth and claws were removed. Pepper spray was sprayed into his nose and he was drugged every day with tranquilizers dissolved in beer. He arrived at 2006 to the sanctuary where the staff took all kinds of measures to save his eyes, including flying in experts from the UK; but with no success.

As I listen to the tour given at the the sanctuary

We walk next to Max's fence and look around. The guide was warning some visitors to not come close to the fence of Max's neighbor - Monica - since she "Jumps the fence".

Monica - the fence jumper

Monica patrolling her fence.
Monica patrolling her fence.

Presenting Max's neighbor:

That same day I was finished with my work and walked around the sanctuary. To get to the main building I had to go right next to Monica's enclosure. At the time, I couldn't believe that a bear would aggressively charge at the fence since most of them don't pay much attention to anything.

But then - she spotted me. She had "I'm going to kill you!" attitude as she started storming straight towards me, stopping only inches from the electric fence.
I was terrified. My heart was racing. Monica gave me quite a scare.

Monica's story

Monica spent more than 15 years behind bars in a zoo from Bucharest. Monica took small steps into the training area enclosure of the Sanctuary. The large space, the forest, the soft grass and the freedom scared her. But there was Betsy waiting for her inside the enclosure and somehow she trusted the “old lady” and took a few more steps. They got to know each other and became friends quickly. After almost a year, Monica was released into one of the bigger enclosures.


Feeding time at the sanctuary

Mc'Donald Betsy

Betsy taking a short walk
Betsy taking a short walk

The old lady

Brought to the sanctuary from Texas in mid-2010 after being confiscated from a private individual. She used to be a circus bear, but after the circus shut down she was purchased and spent 9 more years on a farm where she was kept in a dirty and extremely small hen coop. Her food consisted mostly of leftovers from a fast food restaurant, and that caused her severe stomach issues.

While I was there, it was very sad for me to see Betsy all lonely in her own enclosure. Her medical condition prevents her to be in one of the bigger enclosures with the other bears. For the short time as spent at the sanctuary, I have tried my best to sit next to her enclosure speaking to her in English.
I also got to meet Christina Lapis - who is the founder of "Millions of Friends" and the Libearty Bear Sanctuary - and she told me that she thinks Betsy misses someone who would speak English to her - since her previous owners did communicate with her a lot.

At the time I was writing a blog, and this was one of my entries:

"Today Betsy really responded to me. She stopped pacing back and forth around the pool and came close to me and set down. It was a beautiful moment to be a part of."

Sniff Sniff - Betsy

Bear chases bear

On the other side of Betsy's fence, there's an enclosure with an impressive amount of gigantic bears. Ursi is probably the biggest. He can acts like a bully sometimes at feeding when he chases away other massive bears - almost his size or same - like Fotsy.

When two huge bears meet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fotsy waiting for foodUrsi relaxing
Fotsy waiting for food
Fotsy waiting for food
Ursi relaxing
Ursi relaxing | Source

Ursi's story

Ursi Has a brother named Bobiţă. In August 2006, after 4 years of prison, they were brought to the Sanctuary, used only to the cold and rough cement of the zoo cage.

Time to choose!

Who was your favorite bear?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gami Rina profile imageAUTHOR

      Gami Rina 

      2 years ago

      It's in Romania, near Brasov - Transylvania region.

      Beautiful inspiring bears and people.

    • The Old Guard profile image

      John Wilson 

      2 years ago from Whereever I hang my hat is my hone. Currently in Ibarra, Ecuador

      What country is the sanctuary in?

      I find visits to nonprofits that help animals are a great way to spend time.

      Must have been an interesting volunteer experience.

      Best of success!

      Cheers

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)