In touch with nature: Native! Wild! Real!
The innovative project run by the STIFTUNG für BÄREN (Foundation for Bears) is the first alternative bear park in Germany and a pioneering institution in terms of keeping bears and wolves in a way that respects the animals. The idea is not to put the animal on display and just stare at it, but to let the largest predator in Europe simply be a bear in wide open spaces, to bring its instincts (back) to life and to discover the wild animal within itself. This was something that neither the bears, which had once been abused by humans, nor their fellow creatures, the wolves, were allowed to do in their previous lives. They are now living and learning together in the Alternativer Bärenpark Worbis. And what we can do as members of the two-legged team is give them a voice and tell their stories.
This is where humans are guests in the realm of bears and wolves.
This is how our four-legged friends can open our eyes, minds and hearts: PARDO the brown bear is enjoying a playful bath in the pond, with the old wolf ADENA in the background, quietly stalking down the hill through the foliage. Her mission is to poach the food from female bear LAURA! You, dear visitors, are a witness to this exciting scene, but you yourself are being watched with wolfish acumen as the half-breed wolves RONJA and RAIK sneak through the thicket behind you. They disappear and reappear like ghosts in the outdoor enclosures, making their way with fascinating skill through the bear's forest, past the black bear JIMMY and the brown bear KATJA.
Moments like these are part of everyday life in the animal conservation project in Thuringia run by the STIFTUNG für BÄREN, but they are not ordinary. There is no other institution in Central Germany where can you experience wolves and bears this close to nature and this wild.