The Brown Bear is a well-known symbol of mountain woodlands across Eurasia and North America. While it was once roaming the continents from one ocean to the other, nowadays the bears find themselves in less and less numbers.
Romania accounts for 60% of Europe’s Brown Bear population (estimated in 2016 at 6,000 specimens), which should not come as a surprise considering that the country still enjoys almost 65% of the total virgin forests in Europe.
People come from all over the world to experience the wonders that nature has gifted Romania with and they are not disappointed.
1. Libearty Bear Sanctuary
Libearty Bears Sanctuary is the biggest brown bear sanctuary in the world. The sanctuary was started as a rescue for the bears held captive in tiny cages and put on display at different restaurants, hotels and even gas stations.
Visiting is only allowed during guided tours of a limited number of people, at specific times during the day. So be sure to check the website and book your tickets online if you wish to visit.
2. Piatra Craiului National Park
If you would instead wand a wilder experience, Piatra Craiului National Park has hiking paths and camping sites in a natural reservation. The instructions are very clear regarding safety and as long as you follow them closely, a bear encounter will be nothing more than a nice memory to share with your children.
N.B. Eurasian Brown Bears are not Grizzly Bears
A lot of people confuse Eurasian Brown Bears with Grizzly Bears, or think they are the same. They are indeed related, both subspecies of the Brown Bear species (Ursus arctos): Eurasian Brown Bears are Ursus arctos arctos, while Grizzly Bears, their slightly bigger North American cousins, are Ursus arctos horribilis.