Preparations are underway for the two young European brown bears in Bern’s bear park, Ursina and Berna, to leave the city for Romania in September.
A spokesman for the bear park said the female twin cubs would be moved over land from the Swiss capital to a reserve near Zarnesti, 200 kilometres northwest of Bucharest next month.
The cubs were born in the Bern Bear Park in December 2009. As mother bears reject their offspring when they are old enough to survive on their own – around two years – they needed to be found a new home. The other option would have been to cull the bears, a prospect strongly resisted by fans.
The pair will be sedated by awake for the journey and will have room to eat, stand up and move about in their cages, the bear park’s website said.
The young bears and their parents are a major attraction in Bern, along with two other young Mongolian brown bears, Misha and Mascha, who were given to the city of Bern as a gift from the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and his wife on an official visit in September 2009.
Ursina and Berna’s future home is a 80-hectare reserve operated by the Christina Lapis Foundation, which provides refuge for 56 bears rescued from mistreatment.
swissinfo.ch and agencies