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The big feast before the winter


The six bears at the Austrian FOUR PAWS bear park BÄRENWALD Arbesbach are preparing themselves for a long cold winter. In addition to the food options they find in their plot they are being fed a nutritious fare of noodles, eggs, nuts and other edibles that are rich in content. Female bear Brumca is currently leading in this natural competition: she has gained considerably in weight.

The region in which BÄRENWALD Arbesbach is located is known for its rough climate: the Waldviertel is the coldest area in Austria. For the inhabitants of the FOUR PAWS sanctuary this relatively extreme change of seasons is quite ideal. It causes the bears to make use of the entire scope of their natural adaptability. Building up fat reserves and hibernation are part of this species-appropriate behaviour, which the animals couldn't live out in captivity but which they learned and took up in BÄRENWALD Arbesbach.

Lara and Jerry still need to catch up

Most in the group make their usual good progress this fall. Amongst the 'A-bears' (Vinzenz, Liese, Jerry and Tom) only Jerry is lagging behind a little. He is currently the most lank of the big bears. But every animal has its own rhythm, and Jerry has plenty of time to put on his pre-hibernation fat stores. Same goes for Lara: in her case the reason is presumably her age, though: she just turned 29 – and did not start moulting before early September.

Lazy giants

While some minor ailments are being treated with homoeopathic cures – such as Liese's eye complaint – life is gradually slowing down at the FOUR PAWS sanctuary. All six animals show obvious signs of idleness: many are getting up much later than just a few weeks ago; some even have to be motivated to do so, since the bears are being relocated to another plot in the mornings so the food can be hidden in the enclosure. When winter comes, Vinzenz, Liese, Tom, Jerry, Brumca, Liese and Lara will begin to dig caves as it is appropriate to their species: and leave the winter outside.