Adopt a Bear

Libearty Sanctuary from Zarnesti “The example is important.” We are terrified, having so many questions in our minds, which cannot ask out loud yet, looking at the cage where Odi has been for 12 years. As if you only lived in the bathroom of your apartment for 12 years. Moreover, for 12 years he ate only...
Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești

Libearty Sanctuary from Zarnesti

“The example is important.”

We are terrified, having so many questions in our minds, which cannot ask out loud yet, looking at the cage where Odi has been for 12 years. As if you only lived in the bathroom of your apartment for 12 years. Moreover, for 12 years he ate only corn cobs. And also here, inside the iron cage, he didn’t even have a cardboard, a bag or a tin to sit on. Odi spent 12 years on iron bars, at over 30 degrees and minus 20. Today he has marks on his feet, from the days when the bars were too hot from the heat and burning or from the frozen winters without a proper shelter.

Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești
Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești


Initially we could not find a logical, human, realistic or at least an answer that belongs to the century and civilisation in which we claim to live. Then we find out that some would have a few answers: for tourists to take pictures of the animals in the cages, for the “owners” of the bears (who can be called the owner of a wild animal?) to earn some more money or because it is a source of pride to have a bear in the yard of the guesthouse, in the gas station, in the yard, at the monastery, to make them cakes for their birthday, to give them a drink and for the whole county to know you.

We still don’t have the strength to react. There are other stories like Odi’s, some even more terrible, if there can be a degree of comparison in cruelty: a closed bear which eventually ate her own paws (as people choose in extreme situations to commit suicide), blinded bears and spray-peppered so that they can no longer react to curious tourists, a bear forced to ride a bicycle in a circus, which can barely recover her front legs, small bears left without their mother that was shot, which anxiously tries to get next to you when you approach them, believing that you are their mother, another that has been his whole life behind bars and which has lived the last year of his life here… in a different kind of freedom.

Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești
Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești

Here, on 69 hectares of forest, oaks where bears can climb and swimming pools where they can cool off, food according to the diets studied by veterinarians and appropriate medical care. Over 100 bears with such stories, recovered and reintegrated in nature, over 30,000 animals saved at Libearty Sanctuary in Zărnești, a place that gathers today travelers, children, parents, animal lovers, people.

“And the people who come here and the children understand that there is another way to behave with animals. We are trying to recover the stolen and lost years for them. Freedom is a gift that all living beings receive at birth. We do not have the right to take them this and we cannot be happy as long as animals suffer. We can’t do anything to an animal. And if we are their masters, we must be good masters. Everyone who stops and sees animals suffering like this is just as guilty. Ignorance and indifference bring suffering. We are responsible for everything that happens around us, that’s the only way we can build a better world. ”

Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești
Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești

The words belong to Cristina Lapis, who created in Râșnov in 2005, through a public-private partnership with the City Hall of Zărnești, the largest animal welfare project in Europe, starting from the idea that people learn more from examples than from fairy tales. Today at the animal sanctuary in Zărnești people can see animals recovered from traumatic experiences, cages, zoos, exhibitions, circuses and reintegrated into their natural environment – a vast space, more precisely 69 hectares of freedom that can never be compared to the space of an iron cage.

The story began with Maia, the 6-years-old bear who died in the arms of Mrs. Lapis as she ate her paws because of captivity. It was the moment when the president of the Millions of Friends Association promised herself that as long as she could, no bear would go through such a thing. The animals here are generally rescued by people who love or at least respect them: people who go through sad stories in which the animals are involved and call the sanctuary to ask for help, saving them from fenced zoos, circuses, private courtyards or exhibitions. The National Environmental Guard is actively involved in the confiscation and rescue. Bears, wolves, deer, dogs, cows, pigs, horses, goats, lambs, over 30,000 animals rescued here, in the sanctuary, reservation and farm, opened every day to the public, for 3 hours, between Tuesday and Sunday. “I have never refused an animal. I always found a place for each of them. ”

Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești
Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești

“To love does not mean to possess.”

Libearty Sanctuary offers the possibility of virtual adoption of a bear, precisely because to love does not mean to possess in a cage. By donating, anyone can be actively involved in supporting the animals in the sanctuary: individuals, companies, institutions, classes of children, groups, teams. The minimum monthly amount for the simple adoption of a bear is 5 euro/month (60 euro/ year). The same bear can be adopted by several people who want to contribute to its well-being. Through exclusive adoption you can become the only adopter, if you donate 600 euros/month, the monthly expense required for each bear. The bear you are caring for will not be able to be adopted by anyone else for a year.

All this because:

– Bears can live over 40 years in the sanctuary

– About two tons of food are needed every day for the over 130 bears

– 10 euros a day costs the food of a bear

– Adoption helps the sanctuary team to feed the animals, provide them the medical treatment, take care of the forest and maintain the pools

– This is the only way we can save the bears still held behind bars.

Sanctuarul Libearty din Zărnești

A dog from the sanctuary can be adopted in the same system. At the same time, you can redirect 3.5% of your annual tax to Millions of Friends Association or 20% of the profit tax and 0.5% of the turnover for the tax-paying companies.

Libearty is the largest brown bear sanctuary in the world, being declared by the National Geographic Traveler as the most ethical sanctuary in the world, today home to all rescued animals. The sanctuary can also be supported by direct donations to Millions of Friends Association Brașov:

Banca Transilvania/Brașov





Libearty is waiting for you to visit it from Tuesday to Sunday, this being another way to support the initiative, by paying the entrance ticket: 50 lei for adults, 20 for children and 35 for students. Only 40 tickets are available for each tour, because they want to give the bears at Libearty the peace they need.

“That’s how change happens.”

– Millions of Friends Association is a non-governmental organisation guided exclusively by the principle of respecting and protecting all forms of life.

– At Libearty injured, sick, veterinary medical emergencies are taken over.

– Libearty wants to stop abandonment, unnecessary euthanasia, cruelty to animals and the release of wild, captive animals in inhumane conditions.

– The association has become the animal welfare NGO with the highest visibility in Romania.

– To raise awareness, the association develops and runs educational campaigns and projects, events and actions, manuals for the proper care of animals, throughout the year.

We arrived at Libearty Bear Sanctuary for a filming that we set out in the area, wanting to present in it the important touristic objectives in Bran, Moeciu, Brașov area. We did not expect to find such a thing here, much more than we imagined. The discussion with Mrs. Cristina Lapis left traces, opened and closed wounds, healed those that could not be healed, raised questions, allowed us to find many answers, finally left us feel such gratitude for the simple good, as we have never felt before. We left happier, sadder, more thoughtful, more liberated, more enthusiastic, more silent, better, dead against our own species – it was like this, a carousel of emotions, which unfolds again and again, every time we think about what happens there, in a corner of the country and right now, writing these lines. The Libearty experience changes lives, visions, perspectives, realities.

That’s how change happens. Through people. Initiatives, concrete facts, involvement, work and effort. There are beautiful people who work hard, build dreams and make the world a better place. We can support at least their free minds and open souls, participating in saving all these animals that make Romania a country and a destination to see in a lifetime. Brown bears, deer, wolves, virgin forests, the green, fresh air, we need to save them all. What we do not understand, however, is that it is in the power of each of us.

Join our campaign and pass on the good. We are waiting for your messages, images with the certificates of adoption of a bear, in case you get involved, impressions related to visiting the Bear Sanctuary and we will share them. Let’s participate also at the promise made out of love for animals.

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