Feeling nostalgic – a year ago we sent Medo and Buya away

It’s been a whole year since Medo and Buya are not with us … We miss them! The children who visit our Large Carnivore Education Centre in the village of Vlahi are also missing them! But we know that our decision to move them to a new, even better home was the right one!

What is the story of Medo and Buya?

The male bear Medo

Medo was born in 2003 in one of the Bulgarian zoos. At a very young age he was given to a circus coach to be trained as a circus bear. But fate had other plans for the young bear. His coach had difficulty raising the little “student” and was looking for a new home for him.

At the same time, our joint team from SDP – BALKANI and BDOBR SEMPERVIVA was building the Large Carnivore Education Centre, with rich, attractively presented information about wild animals. Learning about the “homeless” bear, we enthusiastically decided to become its adoptive parents. Thanks to the support of the Dutch Bears in Mind Foundation (still called Alertis at the time) and the Dutch animal protection organization Dieren Bescherming, we surrounded for him a spacious place on the outskirts of the village of Vlahi.

Medo in Vlahi

As a bear raised in captivity, close to humans, Medo could not be returned to the wild. In 2006, he became part of the educational center as an ambassador for the protection of his wild brethren. He was used to the presence of people and paid attention to all his visitors.

A few years later, Medo acquired a company

the female bear Buya.

Buya’s story is different. Born in 2004 in the wilds of the Rhodopes, she was orphaned in an age of just a few months, because her mother was killed by poachers. The little orphan was housed in the Kormisosh station (created during socialism to breed bears), because at this fragile age she would not survive alone in nature.

Buya in her concrete cage in Kormisosh.

A few years later, we from SDP – BALKANI, together with Bears in Mind, took the initiative to save the 20 bears, raised separately in concrete cages in “Kormisosh”. With the support of our Dutch partners, these bears were housed in rescue centers in various European countries, in conditions as close as possible to natural for the species. However, Buya stayed in Bulgaria and in 2014 became a member of the family of our LC educational center. Again with the help of Bears in Mind, we fenced off an extra large space for it, next to Medo’s.

Some of the bears in Kormisosh that we managed to save and move to better conditions.
Moving Buya from Kormisosh to Vlahi.

The small team of the LC Educational Center took care of the bears with a lot of love, and they in turn delighted the visitors who came to see the bears up close and learn more about them.

Buya greets Vlahi’s visitors.

While Medo and Buya lived with us, we tried to make them feel as good as possible. Raising bears, however, is not an easy job, especially for a small team like ours. In recent years, the challenges of meeting their needs have increased. We had to think about change. In the end, with a great deal of sadness, we made the difficult decision to part with them. In this difficult time for us, we again received the support of our partners and friends from Bears in Mind. With their help, we found an even better “bear” place for Medo and Buya in the visitor center “Osservatorio eco-faunistico Alpino”, near the alpine town of Aprica, in northern Italy.

So … exactly one year ago, our pets finally left Vlahi and left for their new home. There, in the cool climate of the Alps, they inhabit a beautiful, large space with a forest and a big pool.

We are happy that Medo and Buya were part of the LC educational center, that we provided them with years of good and peaceful life. They delighted everyone who visited them and won the hearts of the people, leaving in them the conviction that these wonderful creatures – the bears must be protected!

Medo and Buya continue their mission today!