For the First Time Since Freedom, a 7-year-old circus bear sees snow

After Serbia banned wild animal circuses, Napa the bear spent seven years in a concrete cage. He was rescued in 2016 and taken to a Serbian zoo. His handlers carefully nurtured him back to health, and a protein-rich diet helped him gain almost 700 pounds!

That was a lot of bear for an international team of professionals to relocate… but the battle was absolutely worth it! In July, Napa became the first resident of Arosa Bear Sanctuary, a stunning new facility in the gorgeous Swiss Alps.

Four Paws International handled the relocation. In addition to the three-acre refuge, Four Paws says it has ponds and trees for up to five bears. The sanctuary’s altitude, slope, and natural vegetation provide a setting extremely similar to the animals’ original environment.”

“We had grown to like him,” said Kristijan Ovari, a Pali Zoo curator. “He is bright and inquisitive. He’s always the first to see what’s going on.” In his new home of a few months, Napa is still taking it all in. His surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful!

Napa may take up to a year to adjust to his new surroundings, so only time will tell if he will hibernate this winter. But he’s already had his first snowfall this month! Remember the first time you lifted your face to catch falling snowflakes melting on your skin? Imagine how Napa must have felt, watching soft flecks of snow drop down and melt on his thick brown coat and dark snout! He seems a little lost down there, unsure of what to do…

This lucky bear didn’t take long to make the most of his first real snow day, playing with a snow-covered log and hiding under a tree’s canopy to enjoy the calm picture developing before his eyes.

Gratify everyone who helped make this dream a reality by sharing this video of his joyous reaction to the unexpected white material!

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