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Arosa bear sanctuary

13.6.2018

The first bear sanctuary in Switzerland

The first Swiss bear sanctuary, Arosa Bear Sanctuary, is being built on an area of three hectares in the municipality of Arosa. From summer 2018, five bears freed from terrible conditions in southern and south-western Europe (France, Italy and Spain), will find a new home. The FOUR PAWS sanctuary is being built in cooperation with the Arosa tourism board.

Over the past few years, we have been able to rescue over 90 bears and house them in one of our five bear sanctuaries (Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, Austria, Ukraine). The enclosure in Arosa will be developed according to the same principles: 

- an extensive living environment

- compulsory sterilisation of all the animals

- a general ban on breeding young bears

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Sustainable animal welfare fuses with modern tourism

Arosa Bear Sanctuary connects animal welfare and touristic development, creating a 'win-win' situation for both sides. On the one hand, it enables FOUR PAWS to house yet more rescued bears in appropriate conditions, while on the other, the municipality of Arosa has the opportunity to develop a sustainable form of tourism. Thereby, the protection of animals and nature will be made accessible to the wider public in an exciting and natural way. Last but not least, the project aims to raise the acceptance of the bears among the local population.  

A new bear sanctuary in the Swiss mountains

The bears, formerly held in poor conditions, will find an animal-friendly home on an area of three hectares in the Swiss mountains. The Arosa Bear Sanctuary is being built on the Weisshorn mountain at an altitude of around 1,500 metres above sea level. It is situated close to the cable car's middle station, right next to the skiing area. By the end of summer 2018, the first five inhabitants of Arosa Bear Sanctuary will have found a suitable home. 

Developing bear instincts

In the large, richly structured enclosures, the bears will find a habitat that corresponds to their natural needs. Besides areas for bathing and retreat, various activities are planned to keep the bears occupied. In order to motivate the bears and encourage the development of their instincts, their food will be hidden in new spots every day. Like in the wild, the animals will spend most of their day looking for food. A nature trail and viewing platform will offer visitors to Arosa an exhilarating and educative insight into the life of the bears.