Sunday, March 6, 2011

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

This weekend we headed out to the woods to go feed some bears honey from long wooden spoons. I assure you this was actually a safe and animal friendly activity. The spot we visited is the Medve Otthon, about half an hour outside Budapest. It is a bear sanctuary founded in 1998 by the World Society for the Protection of Animals and is home to over forty bears that have been rescued from mistreatment or neglect. These bears have spent most of their lives in captivity, so they wouldn't be able to make it in the wild. Now they live pretty lovely lives on this preserve, where people come to visit them and feed them honey on long wooden sticks. I have to say it was pretty awesome!

Look how grumpy Bop was! She really enjoyed herself, though.
If she wasn't screaming "Feed them! Feed them!",
she was hollering "It stinks! It stinks!"
Even the sweet honey couldn't mask the mud + bear poo fumes
that occassionally wafted her way.
Here we are feeding Stanley Bear.
He was really a sweet guy.
I don't know who had more fun with the feedings,
Claudia or Stan.
Here is Stan playing in the mud.
The preserve had all kinds of ponds, caves and burrows for the bears.

Russell hopped the fence to get a pic of Kevin Bear sitting in his little burrow.
Or maybe Russell just poked the camera lens through the fence.
I'll leave you guessing on that one.

If you are interested in this kind of thing, here is the WSPA's page about its bear sanctuaries. They have founded similar sanctuaries in India, Pakistan, Laos, Greece, Hungary, Thailand and Turkey. The preserve also hosts a few other groups of rescued animals including 26 grey wolves, a little group of reindeer and several other little critters. It is definitely a great cause and made for a fun adventure for Claudia.


  1. That is so neat! Ya'll have so many activities there. Claudia is too cute. Tell her I need that pink jacket! :)

  2. yay! so glad you went to see the bears and she liked it. i want to go again this spring.

  3. Before I saw the pics with the fence, I was questioning how exactly this was a safe family outting! That is so neat! You should be a family event planner! Can't wait to see you and CC!

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  5. Hi, Meryl. I live in Brazil and I´m travelling to Hungary next May. I was searching about Medve Otthon when I found your lovely blog. Could you please help me? Since I´m going alone, I´d like to know if it´s safe taking the train from Budapest to Ivacs and then walking the way to the park. As an animal lover, I really want to spend some hours among those wonderful bears and wolves. Thank you. Christina (


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