After ten years of pressure from the public Viktor and Mirna have been relocated from their cramped concrete cage in Split to a new 5,000 square metre enclosure in Kuterevo. Viktor and Mirna are enjoying their new home so far, but they still have a long way to go before they re-discover their natural bear instincts. Meanwhile they are able to take long swims in the pool, play with (and break!) all the trees in the enclosure, and take naps in the tall grass. Mirna is 31 years of age and therefore is often found resting in the shade, sleeping for many hours during the day. On the other hand Viktor, weighing 250kg, is always on the hunt for fruit and eats more than me at Christmas- (so food donations are greatly appreciated)!
In celebration of Viktor and Mirna’s arrival and the completion of the new enclosure, an ‘opening day’ was held on the sixth of June, with people from Croatia and abroad coming to the village for the event. Everyone then retreated into the shade for some traditional food and entertainment. Photos of previous volunteers working on the enclosure were also available for viewing on the day. The exhibition highlighted the hard work done by hundreds of volunteers from over thirty different countries!
A BIG thank-you to all those who have donated their time or money to the refuge! None of this would have been possible without Kuterevo volunteers (scouts, workcamps, individuals, EVS and SCI volunteers…), local majstors (Šiljo, Josa, Ive, Želio, Ujkič, Vedran, Mira, Vesna, Nikonila, Tomislav, Nina…), the animal welfare organisation Four Paws, generous donations from visitors, Zoo City and Algoritim, and support from Aktionbarenkinder and municipality…
… but we won’t stop here! The ‘Land for Bears’ campaign is still running and we hope to aquire some more space for (future) bears in need of a better life! This fundraising campaign is coming from a great need for new enclosures and reconstruction of old enclosures – we have to collect money, materials or tools because at the moment we have nowhere to host new orphan cubs.
Summer has just started in Kuterevo, and more than 50 volunteers has started to work on a new area for a future enclosure!
On behalf of the Kuterevo bears, we thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon in Kuterevo!