A group of WSPA supporters have set out on a trip of a lifetime to help save brown bears from a life of cruel captivity.
The 13 trekkers headed off on WSPA’s Bear Adventure trek on 9 September and it promises to be an unforgettable experience. The four day trip involves a tough 50km hike through the breathtaking Carpathian mountains and includes ascents of up to 600 metres.
The trek ends with the ultimate reward: a trip to the WSPA-funded Romanian bear sanctuary where participants have the unique opportunity to meet the sanctuary’s residents.
Meeting the sanctuary bears
Many of the bears the group will meet were originally taken from the wild as cubs and their mothers shot, because cubs are easier to control. The majority of bears have been rescued from a life entertaining tourists billed as ‘roadside attractions’.
Rescued or confiscated bears are often unable to adapt to a life in the wild. For these animals the best option is a forested sanctuary in which they can behave as naturally as possible. The trekkers hope to raise at least £2,150 each for projects like the bear sanctuary in Romania.
The group have been training and fundraising hard to prepare for the trek. WSPA supporter Michelle Moore said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the good work that WSPA is doing in the bear sanctuary giving mistreated bears a new and happier life. Animal welfare has always been a passion of mine and I like to do what I can to help.”
Want to meet the bears?
This spring, WSPA launched one of its biggest ever fundraising campaigns, WSPA’s Big Bear Build to expand the sanctuary in order to offer refuge to the remaining bears living in captivity in Romania. Building is now well underway on the new enclosure.
WSPA Community Fundraising Manager Jane Rockliffe said: “We are thrilled to have our bear adventurers raising money for WSPA. They will be some of the first people in the world to see first hand the results of WSPA’s Big Bear Build appeal and if everything goes to plan, the expansion should be completed by the end of the summer. The Bear Adventure really is a fantastic opportunity to see with your own eyes the sort of difference your money can make.”