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Ben and Felix discover their new feeding ball


Ben and Felix, senior bears at BÄRENWALD Müritz, were able to test their latest toy, introduced to enhance their natural behaviour: a feeding ball demanding the entire scope of their skills, and keeping them busy throughout the day.

Like most animals, bears in wildlife spend the biggest share of their time looking for food – it is the essence of their existence. In the majority of places where bears are kept in captivity however, feeding time is a once-a-day experience, leaving the animals to inactivity. In the FOUR PAWS bear parks, the dispensation of food all over the bears’ habitat is a key to therapy and inspiring animals to fall back on their instincts and natural beheavoiur. Expanding the search for food can also be achieved through the toys that animal keepers create for their bears.

A joyful challange

The latest such dispenser is a giant ball which has immediately caught the attention of Ben and Felix. Having quickly become aware that the ball is filled with crops, the two bears needed to try out numerous approaches to getting a bit of what they want. A perfect way of making the two work together while maintaining a healthy amount of rivalry, the ball has now become their favourite object. Succeeding in getting to the food after all may be one of the most important lessons for the twosome: learning that adapting their natural skills is a positive step.