This is an amazing and rewarding project! You will volunteer in Eastern Europe’s largest bear sanctuary and play a vital role in rehabilitating over 100 bears that were previously captive and abused before being rescued. You will enjoy watching them flourish and grow in their newfound freedom.
For years, bears have had a tough time in Romania, they have been hunted as trophies, made to perform in circuses and as street entertainment for passers by. They were kept in cramped conditions and regularly abused by their owners. They are now being rescued and brought to Eastern Europe’s largest bear sanctuary.
Since its opening in 2006, the bear sanctuary and many Oyster volunteers have been part of these rescued bears’ recoveries. Now over 100 bears are cared for in the sanctuary, which is a green and peaceful setting, as close to what they would experience in the wild as possible.
What will I be doing?
Each day you will start by taking a walk through the sanctuary, during this time you will watch the bears playing, climbing trees and swimming. Once you arrive in the main sanctuary building you will be given your daily tasks which will vary depending on the needs of the bears at that time.
Typical daily tasks:
- Food preparation: This is a pretty mucky part of the job! Bears need to eat up to 10kg per day to stay healthy so this is a major part of your role
- Watching the bear feeding process: It is exciting to watch the bears coming from the undergrowth to hunt for the best bits.
- Bear watching: You will be keeping your eye on the newest arrivals to see how they are settling in to their new surroundings. You can also enjoy watching them in their natural habitat from a treetop viewing platform and underground bunker – this is amazing, especially at feeding time!
- Sanctuary conservation work: At times you will get involved in basic maintenance tasks, such as raking leaves, gathering hay, clearing undergrowth etc
- Looking after the other sanctuary animals: Bears won’t be the only animals you encounter, at times the sanctuary staff have rescued dogs, horses and donkeys.
Accommodation and food
- Most volunteers will stay in a central apartment that Oyster rents for you and the rest of the volunteers (although sometimes depending on capacity you will be accommodated in a hotel)
- You will live in Brasov, just minutes walk away from the city centre
- WiFi included
- You should expect to share a room with at least one other volunteer
- The volunteer flat has a well-equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, two toilets and a shower
- Food is not included – volunteers either cook in the flat or enjoy some of the many amazing restaurants located on your doorstep