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Katja and Ida get their first taste of a new life


Welcome Katja and Ida: On Friday (June 5) the two brown bears arrived at BÄRENWALD Müritz (Germany). When they were released, they immediately left their transport boxes and are now exploring their big enclosure. The bears are from the Kalletal animal park in Germany.

23-year-old Katja has already had to endure a number of dreadful years in a circus and was then briefly housed in a sanctuary in Nuremberg, before being taken to Kalletal in 1998. 14-year-old Ida was originally bred in the Stendal animal park and was brought to Kalletal as a young bear. Here, Katja and Ida lived in a small enclosure of bullet-proof glass for many years.

First Steps

Katja is the first to be released: When the door of her transport box is opened, she carefully sticks out her nose and sniffs the air. After a few seconds the bear jumps out and runs several meters. Then she stops, looks around and starts sniffing the grass, taking in the all the new smells before slowly walking on with her nose to the ground. She discovers some food which the bear keepers have hidden in the enclosure. She happily eats an apple.

Ida is next: She also leaves her transport box immediately but she is less daring than Katja. In front of her box, she stops and carefully looks around. Only after checking that everything is all right, she follows Katja on the discovery tour. With her nose to the ground, Ida walks around and sniffs her new home.

Curious Neighbours

The "old“ inhabitants of BÄRENWALD Müritz are extremely interested in the new arrivals: Ben and Felix, the two male bears in the enclosure next to Katja and Ida, are very curious about their new neighbours. During the release, Ben and Felix watch every move of Katja and Ida and often "stand up“ to get a better view of the two females.

During their first weeks in BÄRENWALD Müritz, Katja and Ida will stay in a soft-release enclosure in order to settle in, and will be closely watched by the bear keepers. The time needed to adapt to a new environment is different for every bear – dependant on their previous keeping conditions. It can take from several weeks to a year until new arrivals adapt to the presence of other bears. In Katja’s and Ida’s case the team is confident that they will settle in soon.

Their current behavior is very promising: both bears are healthy and well, they eat and drink well and explore their new home with curiosity.

Katja has settled in quickly and already took a bath in the small pool, whereas Ida is still a bit wary of the new situation. However, she is getting more confident every day.