Romanian Bear Sanctuary

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Program Description

The Romanian Bear Sanctuary was founded in 2005 and has developed into the country’s focus for caring for European Brown Bears. Now one of the largest sanctuaries in Europe, it has rescued over 70 bears, and the number is always increasing. The work done here is vital, as before the sanctuary was established, the Romanian authorities had nowhere for the rescued bears to go. These animals have been rescued from neglectful and cruel conditions across the length of the country. Now, they have the opportunity to roam in vast forested enclosures and engage in natural behaviour for the first time in their lives.

Situated in the foothills of the stunning Carpathian Mountains, just outside the charming city of Brasov, the sanctuary offers volunteers the chance of a totally hands on experience. During their time here, volunteers will work closely with the full time members of staff, helping to prepare food for the bears and subsequently feeding them. The monitoring of bears is also an essential part of the volunteering experience here, as it is integral to keep an eye on how the new arrivals are settling in and how well they are adapting to their new environment.

Volunteers will also help to assist with sanctuary tours (with educational groups and film crews) and general conservation tasks. No day is the same, but one thing that is certain is that every day will involve working with beautiful inhouse population of European Brown Bears. There are also rescued dogs, wolves, deer, donkeys and horses here, which all need care and feeding!

Volunteers will also have the chance to see and explore this beautiful and little visited side of Eastern Europe, characterised by stunning scenery, warm locals and a diverse and rich culture. During the summer, the mountains offer fantastic hiking opportunities during days off, and the quaint city of Brasov, where volunteers will be staying, is rife for exploration! It is a year round skiing resort, located in close proximity to some of Romania’s most beloved ski slopes: perfect when you have a day or two to spare!


The role of the volunteer is to assist with the running of the sanctuary. The main component of this will be assisting in preparing and delivering the bears’ food. Most bears need about 10kgs a day so feeding them all takes quite some time! With over 70 bears at the sanctuary, there is a lot of food that needs preparing.

Volunteers will also turn their hands to maintenance tasks, monitoring the bears and helping with any hay-making or conservation efforts. Other jobs in the sanctuary vary, from helping in any medical procedures, monitoring the bears, preparing for the winter construction and conservation initiatives. Volunteer help in these areas frees up the permanent staff, who will then be able to work towards the rescue of other bears in captivity.

Daily tasks will include:
• Aiding different film crews, for example WSPA (World Society of the Protection of Animals), in producing publicity and marketing campaigns
• Sanctuary tours. Information from volunteers really helps to teach educational groups about animal welfare.
• Monitoring how quickly the newest bears are adapting to their new surroundings and how they are coping
• Feeding the bears
• Food preparation and delivery


No special skills or qualifications are required - just a minimum age of 18 and a willingness to get involved with all activities.

Volunteer Types

What`s Included

• Accommodation in a flat in Brasov – all bills are provided for
• Transportation from the airport in Bucharest
• A welcome meal on arrival
• Daily return transport to and from the sanctuary
• A pre-trip briefing , either by phone or face to face
• Donation to the project
• Transport for the two weekend trips (see the itinerary section for more details)
• A book giving information about the project

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Program Locations

Brasov, Romania

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Program Details

The Great Projects
  • Romania: Brasov
Throughout the year
Program Duration:
1-2 weeks, 1-3 months
American, Asian, Australian, Canadian, European, Kiwi, South African, Worldwide
From £1,145.00
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