Bern and Bears

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bern is synonymous with bears. Not only in name , arms and fit out – everywhere you look there seems to be some sort of bear motif, but they have literal city bears. And have done so for almost 150 years.

At the time I visited Bern the bears were still living in the original 145 year old bear pit. I’m not going to lie the poor bears looked sad. The pits are 3.5 meters deep and really quite bare. To see the bears you stand above and ring the outside of the pit. People were throwing food in for the bears to eat but they were pretty uninterested and gave you a straight are you serious? look back. It could have been because it was winter and they were sleepy but when I looked at them I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. However in 2009, after the death of the last pit bear – Pedro, Bern has built a Bear Park. This new enclosure is over 10,000 square meters and runs along the river. It does include the original bear pit and apparently they have also been given a pool and some caves to explore.

Finally, it seems about time the bears got an upgrade.


The city of Bern.



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