Brown Bears in Bear Wood

21.9.2023 by Pat Waldron

‘Bear Wood’ opened in 2019, covers an area of 7.5 acres of ancient woodland and is located within the Bristol Zoo Project. This ‘one of a kind’ exhibit is the largest in the UK and has over 700 metres of elevated walkways. Meandering through the wood they offer panoramic views of the habitat below.


There are 4 European Brown Bears, sister and brother Gemini & Albie (5 years 8 months old) and brothers Neo & Nilas (6 years 8months old). Gemini, the female, is much lighter in colour than the other 3 bears.



The bears came to this park from Sweden. Neo and Nilas came from Järvzoo, and Gemini and Albie came from Skånes Djurpark.

Mervi’s note: Because Gemini and Albie were born in 2018 it means I have actually seen them as cubbies in Skånes Djurpark! Of course, I’m very happy knowing they live in this wonderful park now!



Who said bears can’t smile?



Over winter, the bears go into torpor, which is a sleep similar to hibernation, but not as deep. The keepers give them more food over autumn to increase their weight, triggering their torpor.




A rope can be nice enrichment


All the bears have their own hillside enclosure / den. They also share a very large enclosure with 4 European Grey Wolves which were relocated from the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland.


The Wolves also have their own enclosure. It really was wonderful to see them all together just ‘doing their own thing!’



Alice & Novo the Wolverines also occupy part of the wood. Normally, I have find these to be quite elusive characters but they were happily playing together, having a dip or chasing magpies! I understand Alice had 3 kits in March this year but only the 2 adults were on view.



The final inhabitants of Bear Wood are 2 Eurasian Lynx. The female was ‘out and about’ but the male was much more elusive although I did catch site of him.




You can see more photos from the Bear Wood here


  1. Dear Pat,

    How lucky that the bears found such a good home and that you found them so relaxed.
    I’m not sure if these are the bears from Orsa or if I’m confusing the two.

    Thank you for your report and best regards!

  2. Dear Pat!
    Thank you for the presentation of bears, wolves, wolverines and lynxes. Such parks are very beautiful.

  3. Dear Pat!
    It is a relief that they still exist and that new ones are being created, good homes for our beloved Brownies!
    Shame on all who abandoned such great bears and took their homes away from them!
    It’s especially touching that Mervi has got to know what happened to the sweet little bears she knew as minis.
    I am also happy for the wolverines, wolves and lynxes for whom a new sanctuary has been created there.
    Thank you for showing us!


  4. Dear Pat

    The bear forest is a wonderful area where the bears clearly feel very much at home.
    But the other inhabitants also make a relaxed impression.
    I find this park very very beautiful.
    Thank you for introducing us!


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