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