For the tenth year in a row, Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko’s team has visited the Bear Sanctuary Belitsa with the honourable mission of donating one tonne of fresh fruits.
The hotel purposely plans its visit in the month of October, when the bears prepare themselves for winter hibernation and they need more food and vitamins. The fruits will be hidden by the park’s staff in different places, so the bears can search and find them themselves, exactly as they normally do in a natural wild environment. Now, 19 bears, ranging in age from 6 to 36 years old, live in the park and are sorted by temperament into seven sectors. They are fed three times a day and have full medical checks every year. Every bear has its own territory with plenty of space to walk and climb. They live in a natural environment for the brown bear with access to natural water resources and specially made dens and ponds.
The Bear Sanctuary Belitsa was founded in 2000 with the help of the Four Paws organisation, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and the Municipality of Belitsa. It is situated in a forest area of 120,000 sq m that lies at an altitude of 1,200–1,345 m. Bear Sanctuary Belitsa is a sanctuary in Bulgaria that provides a second chance and lifelong care to rescued brown bears. Most of the bears in this sanctuary are former ‘dancing bears’ from Bulgaria, as well as some from Serbia, Croatia, Albania and North Macedonia. In addition to them, bears from other various forms of poor captivity have also found a lifelong home here. Almost all the bears in the park are digging their own dens and hibernating – something they could not do during their lives as dancing bears.
On the occasion of the visit, General Manager Christian Ruge commented, “Donating food to the Bear Sanctuary Belitsa has been a substantial activity on our annual social responsibility agenda for ten years now. I believe that our initiative ‘One Team, one Goal – One Tonne of Food’ is a wonderful example of animal welfare, and I hope our honourable cause inspires others to participate in similar animal-care causes.”
The hosts of the park didn’t miss the chance to surprise the hotel team and expressed their gratitude by organising a homemade lunch.