It’s astonishing what humans will to do animals for entertainment. While some zoos and circuses are safe and human places for animals, it’s all too common that the animals are being mistreated or neglected, especially in poorer areas.
For one bear, the circus life was all he knew.
Napa was born in a zoo in Serbia in 2006. He’s a brown bear and polar bear mix, making him quite a spectacle! As a result, he was sold to a traveling circus soon after and was forced to perform tricks and events. When a ban was authorized by the government for performing circus animals, Napa wasn’t useful to the circus anymore.
When offered to take the bear off the circus’s hands, they declined.
Instead of letting Napa have a normal life, they decided they were going to keep him. Without him being able to perform, he was stuck in a cage all day, every day. This horrible treatment went on for over 8 years.
Four Paws is a rescue organization that heard and Napa and wanted to save him.
In 2016, they went in with the Serbian authorities and took ownership of Napa. His teeth were broken from gnawing at the metal bars and he looked sickly. For a bear of his size and stature, he was a shadow of what he should have been. He was dirty and uncleaned and in desperate need of help.
They brought him to a zoo for temporary holding.
The zoo was very kind to him but the rescuers knew that Napa deserved more than the small concrete-covered enclosure he was stuck in. It wasn’t going to be his forever home. They also couldn’t release him because of his comfort level with humans.
Thankfully, the Arosa Bear Sanctuary was formed.
The sanctuary was in the picturesque mountains of east Switzerland and would give him a beautiful home. Napa was going to be their first resident bear!
After a 30-person team arrived to take him, they started the long drive to his new home.
When they arrived, the sanctuary workers were shocked at his size. When Napa finally got to the enclosure, he needed to go through a transition period in an indoor enclosure. Finally, however, it was time to go into the full-sized outdoor area.
In one of his first moments, he got to play in snow for the very first time!
As a polar bear mix, snow is basically a part of his genes. Seeing him go out into the world was quite the sight and watching him interact with snow was incredible! As he played in his new world, he was learning and as happy as can be.
Seeing him act like a normal bear was so good for the workers to see.
Napa even got to meet other bears as they were introduced to the enclosure! He was soon the leader of the group and he is loving his freedom and new friends. Watching him, it’s easy to see that he is going what bears should be doing.
Check out the video below!
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