Romania is home to a numerous population of European Brown Bear. 26.3% of its land area is covered in forest and 66% of the country’s surface is dominated by the Carpathian Mountains. Large carnivores found their home in the deeps of the forest. However, some have a stronger relationship with humans than others. The Ursus arctos population living in Romania is an incredible example of resilience and acceptance, from the wild and human element as well. Coexisting in a human-dominated landscape can be challenging. To challenge a bear might not be a good idea… We don’t recommend it!

European Brown Bear distribution
Brown bear density in Romania via ACDB

Wildlife tourism in Romania

Wildlife watching tourism is emerging around Europe. Currently, we tend to reconnect with nature, but there are inhabitants that never left their wild sanctuary. Large carnivores are the main attraction for wilderness lovers and, by far, Romania is the place to go. While in many European regions a carnivore comeback is happening, they never left Dracula’s home country. There are several animals that live in Romania and certainly, the brown bear is the most controversial and beloved.

The Romanian Carpathians are home to a population of European Brown Bear that counts more than 6000 individuals. All in all, it represents around 35% of the total number of brown bears in Europe. Having such a large population involves high ecological demands. Additionally, social issues and conflict with humans happen. Hence, locals are often divided into opposite crews. Surprising? Not at all.

Brown bear look
Romanian brown bear via Pinterest

As the average home range of a male brown bear can cover more than 1000 square kilometers, quite often their habitat interferes with human establishments. In Romania, humans and bears have lived together for centuries. However, the Romanian bear is facing new challenges. Urban development, deforestation and habitat fragmentations are their new threats. And is not easy to keep up.

Nowadays, due to infrastructure requirements, several areas where large bear population used to live have been affected. For example, Brasov is the heart of Transylvania and an important infrastructure hub. It’s also surrounded by mountains. So, many roads have cut through bear habitat. It became a daily event to meet a brown furry friend wandering around the city. While this might sound attractive, there are safety and environmental concerns. Extending the city’s borders deeper into the forest creates a dangerous situation both for humans and the European Brown Bear.

European Brown Bear watching in Romania

Ready to go? There are countless reasons why you should visit Romania. It’s home to some of the last virgin forests in Europe. Also, it has amazing biodiversity and large populations of endangered species. Trekking, hiking and wildlife watching are must-do activities for nature lovers. Sounds cool, right?

European Brown Bear via Google

Add bear watching Romania on your bucket list. Choose the best way to do it. Eventually, challenge your comfort zone. Different tours of various length and difficulty levels are available to choose from. Spending a few days in the forest, “spying” the brown bear? That can be done. Have patience. Choose the right tour and the proper equipment. Consequently, this will be an unforgettable experience. You can bet on it!

If you don’t fancy spending days out in the forest, don’t worry.  Liberty Bear Sanctuary is the place to go. More than 70 brown bears found their home here. They are once-captive bears than have been rescued, enjoying a great new life. 70 hectares of oak and hazel forest are their home now. Here you can see them bathing in water pools and adapting to a new lifestyle. Many of them were raised in captivity. However, Liberty creates a new world and helps them recover from human-caused traumas. It’s a bear wonderland.

European Brown Bear cubs at Liberty bear Sanctuary Romania
Cubs at Liberty Bear Sanctuary

Bear Sanctuary is not just a home for exploited bears. It also has an important social impact. Raises awareness of the issues affecting Romanian bears. Additionally, creates a space to visit and see these majestic animals in a natural environment. Nevertheless, a visit here has a big educational impact on the little ones. Is their favorite Paddington Bear, Baloo or Yogi Bear? Regardless, they will make a friend among residents. That’s for sure.

Why to go

Does it sound good? Go for it then! Choose to go for a bear-watching tour and emerge into the wilderness. This is a fun activity for the entire family. Additionally, seeing the brown bear in his habitat creates a strong relationship between children and wild animals. They will see the cubs playing. Even more, it helps them understand how similar we are. It’s hard to love what you don’t know.

Brown bear family via Twitter

Go outside. Raise nature lovers. It is a necessity. Children must learn to respect and interact with nature. Teach them to love the great outdoors. The European Brown Bear is not to be feared but admired. It means no harm, as long as we don’t interfere with his habitat. Embrace this experience. Check-out when to see bears in Romania. Do your homework. Don’t just believe us. Read these brown bear facts and get ready for adventure.

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