Bear Sanctuary Adventure
Sustainable animal protection at the Arosa Bear Sanctuary
On August 3rd the Arosa Bear Sanctuary was officially opened. In the presence of Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and many other invited guests. On the weekend of August 4th & 5th, there were the open days and all visitors could enjoy the exciting programme.
04. & 05.08.2018: A sunny and well attended opening weekend
After the official opening on August 3rd, the Open Days took place on the weekend of August 4th & 5th.
With a lot of games for the whole family, but also with informative discussions of the specialists around Arosa Bear Sanctuary and FOUR PAWS, a varied programme was offered.
Thanks for coming!
01.08.2018: the roundshot webcam is live
Finally, the roundshot webcam of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary is live. Here you can see pictures of Napa, the Arosa Bear Sanctuary and the beautiful mountain panorama. Every 10 minutes, from sunrise to sunset, a pictures is taken. Enjoy!
31.07.2018: Napa's baptism
Napa is happy about his baptismal gift, which he received on the sunny 31st of August.
30.07.2018: Napa taking his first swim
Napa is enjoying his first swim in his new pool. This is a welcomed refreshment during these hot days in Switzerland.
26.07.2018: Napa discovers the outer enclosure
Today is the day!
Napa was allowed to explore the outdoor enclosure of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary for the first time and feel grass under his paws!
Napa seems to enjoy it and we are overjoyed that he feels so comfortable with us in Arosa.
24.07.2018: The Bears miniature golf is set up!
The bears miniature golf course is now ready for the opening of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary on 4 and 5 August 2018!
We are curious how the 12-hole course will catch on...
18.07.2018: The Weisshorn Bear is here!
The new photo point on the Weisshorn summit with its unique panoramic view is definitely worth a visit. The tapes for attaching to the bear ("formation of the fur") will arrive shortly.
17.07.2018: Lettering is attached
The opening of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary is approaching. Since 17 July 2018, Napa's home is officially labelled and clearly visible to all arrivals with the gondola of the Arosa Bergbahnen.
16.07.2018: The RhB has a bear wagon
A log on rails? The Rhaetian Railway has a new special car: the extra car, which will be used hourly in both directions on the Chur-Arosa line from 4 August 2018 - just in time for the first Open Day - puts passengers in the right mood for a visit to the new Arosa Bear Sanctuary. The bear parade reminds both inside and outside of a tree trunk which is explored by the various brown bears illustrated on the walls. (text: RhB)
12.07.2018: Adventure playground is opened
The Arosa Bear School, our new adventure playground near Brüggerstuba, is now open. It is another exciting offer for the new generation and inspires to discover. Have fun!
10.07.2018: What a close-up!
Napa gets used to his new home! Today he got meat to eat for the first time in Arosa. Another milestone in the caretaking of the first inhabitant of Arosa Bear Sanctuary.
07.07.2018: Napa builds a nest
Napa has some material available with which he can build a nest. He is busy collecting branches, twigs and straw to build a cosy nest.
06.07.2018: Napa is taking his first shower
Napa obviously enjoys letting the animal keeper spray her.
He already knows the shower from the zoo in Palic and enjoys it extensively.
04.07.2018: Napa has arrived in Arosa
Finally! On Wednesday 4 July at lunch time Napa has arrived in Arosa. The bear was transported with the Weisshorn gondola and then brought to his new home at the middle station. Many spectators and the media were there live to be part of this blissful event. Napa is now happily enjoying his new enclosure for a temporary adjustment period. Soon he will be able to romp around outdoors and visitors can joyfully observe the cute fluffy animal. We cannot wait!
Here is an interesting report by the Swiss Television Channel SRF news on 5 July 2018 at midday.
03.07.2018: Napa is on his way
Napa is currently on his long way from Serbia through Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Germany to Switzerland. The heavy box with Napa of almost 550kg is transported in a van of VIER PFOTEN. Once arrived in Arosa the box will be lifted into the gondola.
03.07.2018: Bear Napa is transferred from Serbia to Arosa
Here we go: This morning Napa has been examined and loaded into the transport cage. Our bear experts as well as veterinarians are also part of the team accompanying Napa on his journey. Napa is in good health and ready for his 1,400km trip through Europe. We are very much looking forward to welcoming him tomorrow at the first bear protection centre in Switzerland, the Arosa Bear Sanctuary.
Napa is transported in a bear ambulance by VIER PFOTEN which is especially built and officially authorized for long distance animal transportation. A specific air conditioning and ventilation system and regular checks by the veterinarian guarantee the well-being of the bear. During the last days and weeks Napa has been trained to voluntarily enter the transportation cage. The transportation box virtually represented a new cave; this led to a stress-free loading of the bear.
11.06.2018: A view of the construction work
The work on the Arosa Bear Sanctuary is in progress, as seen in the time lapse.
Napa – the Bear
Napa is 12 years old (*2006, from Serbia), weighs about 350 kg, is male and has an active, friendly and curious character. He is a very bright brown bear, since one of his ancestors was probably a polar bear (75% brown bear, 25% polar bear). Since Napa is the first bear in the new bear protection centre, he occupies a very special place in the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. Napa’s background: he is the last circus bear of Serbia. Already as a pup he was locked up in a small cage where he could hardly stand let alone move. In November 2016 he was freed by VIER PFOTEN and the Serbian government and then temporarily brought to the Serbian Zoo Palic. On 4 July he was finally allowed to move to his new home in the Swiss Alps. His health has greatly improved since his liberation, but his teeth are still in poor condition.
On 6 August Napa can be visited by the public. We look forward to welcoming you!
Napa likes to eat fruits, vegetables and meat. He gets the meat from slaughter waste of a butcher's shop/restaurant in Arosa (game) and a farmer (pork and beef). Napa gets its fruit and vegetables from the same supplier who supplies the mountain restaurants. This is 2nd quality, but completely flawless and (without optical criteria) could also be consumed by humans. Napa also gets leftover bread from the mountain restaurants.
Napa eats an average of 15 kg of vegetables and fruit, as well as 3 kg of meat per day. However, he never gets the same rations so he has some variety.
Inauguration Arosa Bear Sanctuary
Open Days on 4 & 5 August 2018
On the weekend of 4 & 5 August we will celebrate the inauguration of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary – everyone is very welcome to join the opening activities and to enter the visitors’ platform free of charge. The uphill ride by the gondola is fee based. However, every guest staying overnight in one of Arosa’s hotels or holiday apartments receives the Arosa Card free of charge and is therewith entitled to make free use of the Weisshorn cable car. The activities of the open-day celebrations take place between 12.00pm and 5.00pm.
We look forward to welcoming you!
Official Operation Date: 6. August 2018
PS: The fairy tale and storytelling festival Klapperlapapp in Arosa takes place on the same weekend! Kids and parents can dive into the world of fairies at different locations.
To the programme
12.00pm: Start „Open Days“ for all guests
1.00pm: public round of discussion 1 „ Animal Protection“: with Carsten Hertwig, David Bittner, Hans Schmid, Gerald Dick (host Pascal Jenny)
1.00pm – 4.00pm: guided tour by the head of science at the Arosa Bear Sanctuary, Hans Schmid, and by the animal keepers
4.00pm: round of discussion 2 «Tourism»: guest speakers not yet confirmed
At the same time:
-Music Jonny Hill, regional interprets & artists
-public mini-golf tournament
-kids party (face painting, etc.)
12.00pm to 5.00pm: different games for kids and parents
You can expect many exciting activities for the whole family: the "strong-as-a-bear course" with slack lines and high wires, the bear mini-golf, the bear playground with a trampoline and a bouncy castle, children’s face painting and much more.
ARRIVAL WITH THE Train
Arrival with the Bear Wagon
Travel to Arosa and the Arosa Bear Sanctuary in a sustainable way. Take the public transport and enjoy the leisurely and scenic journey through the Schanfigg. Without stress and hecticness you reach the holiday region Arosa.
There is an attractive combination offer for those arriving by train: If you travel to us by public transport, you benefit from a discount on your travel to and from the fair and admission to Arosa Bear Sanctuary. The RailAway package is available at all served railway counters, from Rail Service on 0848 44 66 88 (CHF 0.08/min.) or online at sbb.ch/baerenland.
Opening Hours Arosa Bear Sanctuary
The Arosa Bear Sanctuary is open daily as of Monday, 6 August until 21 October 2018 from 9.00am to 5.40pm.
Entrance Fees / Vouchers
Please find the ticket shop here
Guests staying overnight*
Adults: CHF 5.-
Children: CHF 3.-
Guests with day ticket (incl. Arosa Card, Bike day tickets valid in Arosa, TOPCARD, summer season ticket Arosa Lenzerheide or annual ticket Arosa Lenzerheide)
Adults: CHF 11.
Children: CHF 6.
Adults: CHF 20.-
Children: CHF 10.-
Day guests upgrade***
Adults: CHF 29.-
Children: CHF 15.-
Groups and schools
Adults: CHF 16.- (CHF 23.-***)
Children: CHF 8.- (CHF 12.-***)
A group is defined as if at least 10 cards of the same area of validity are purchased simultaneously for the same duration and from the same day of validity.
Schools must solve the same area of application for the same duration and from the same day of validity. There is no minimum number of cards. Schools receive 1 free ticket per 10 pupils/participants for one accompanying person.
Guests with disabilities who depend on an escort pay the normal rate, for which the escort receives a free ticket.
* upon presenting the Arosa Card with a reduced entrance fee including the gondola ride
** incl. the gondola ride to the Weisshorn middle station there and back
*** additional gondola ride to the Weisshorn peak there and back
Please note that overnight guests can only obtain tickets at the hotel or upon presenting the Arosa Card at the Arosa cable car ticket shop or the Arosa Tourist Office.
Tickets and vouchers
Adults: CHF 20.-
Children: CHF 10.-
Families: (the value is individually adjustable, i.e. 2 adults and 3 children = CHF 60.-)
Should you be in possession of an All-Inclusive Card in Arosa (you are an overnight guest and public transport is included) you are entitled for the following vouchers:
Adults with All-In: CHF 5.-
Children with All-In: CHF 3.-
construction of the Bear Sanctuary and enclosure
Be up-to-date with the construction development of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary and follow us here:
We keep you posted and regularly upload new pictures that show the progress of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary construction site. Every day our anticipation is growing!
Both indoor and outdoor enclosures are available for Napa: The inner enclosure, consisting of two atriums and two additional enclosures, measures over 300 m2. The outdoor enclosure measures 1.6 ha (south) and 1.2 ha (north). On an area of almost 3 hectares Napa encounters a natural landscape with trees, bushes and rocky stretches, in addition to which bathing ponds have also been created for refreshments and for fun.
Since the beginning of August, the roundshot webcam is also live. You can see pictures of Napa and the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. They are retaken every 10 minutes, from sunrise until sunset. Enjoy!
The visitor platform offers the best view of the outdoor enclosure of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. Enjoy the beautiful mountain panorama and also follow the activities of Napa, the bear. There are also various educational elements that provide background knowledge on animal welfare and bears. The information is suitable for adults and children and rounds off the visit to the Arosa Bear Sanctuary.
Arosa Bear School
A school? For bears? Yes, bears have to learn! But not writing, reading or calculating... there are more important things for young bears : If a bear wants to survive without Mom's help, it must know how to discover something eatable, how to hide properly, and how to move skilfully in the forest. The bear school therefore includes: climbing, balancing, jumping, sliding, enjoying the view, tracking and hiding.
Come to the bear school and feel like a young bear! Follow the three paths, the bear paws in the different colours will show you the way. You'll see: It is quite exhausting to be a bear, but it is a lot of fun!
On the Weisshorn summit there is a new photo point with the Weisshorn bear, which definitely contributes to a unique panoramic view!
There are blue and yellow ribbons available, which can be attached to the bear and will step by step create the bear's "fur".
We are curious!
A ride to Arosa in the bear car!
The Rhaetian Railway wants to offer train passengers an adventure from Chur with the new special car!
The extra car, which will be used hourly in both directions on the Chur-Arosa route from 4 August 2018 - just in time for the first open day - will put passengers in the right mood for a visit to the new Arosa Bearland. The bear parade reminds both inside and outside of a tree trunk which is explored by the various brown bears illustrated on the walls. (text: RhB)
Additionally: great offers with SBB RailAway in combination with the bear sanctuary entry fee.
The Bear Golf Challenge is open!
Since Saturday, 28 July 2018, a further highlight is open for guests and locals next to the "Bear School" adventure playground at the middle station of the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car. The miniature golf course with the probably most beautiful view of the world tells the story of the nutrition of bears and has many experience elements built into the individual courses. Under the title "Ran an den Winterspeck!" you can rent balls, rackets and pencils at the ticket office of the middle station. The points system is ingenious and there are "winter bacon additional points" at three lanes. The information boards at the courses are not only used to write down the number of strokes, but are also very informative.
Details about opening hours and prices
Minigolf course: from 9.15 am to 5.30 pm
Last round/output of play equipment: starts at 4.45 pm and may last for a maximum of 45 minutes.
Return of play equipment: 5.30 pm
Descent: At 5.40 pm is the last possibility to reach the village by gondola.
Hiking trail: the path to Prätschli or Innerarosa is open all the time.
Adults: CHF 7.-
Children* (up to 16 years): CHF 3.50
10 rounds adults: CHF 65.-
10-round children* (up to 16 years): CHF 30.00
*Children under 3 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
The rackets and balls can be hired at the middle station (Arosa Bergbahnen ticket office) for a deposit of CHF 5.00.
Would you like to support the Arosa Bear Sanctuary? The foundation Arosa Bears happily welcomes all kind of donations:
IBAN: CH98 0077 4010 3391 5410 0
Account holder: Foundation Arosa Bären, Arosa
You also have the opportunity to donate for the following objects:
Feed costs donation, playground sponsor, game sponsor, mini-golf track sponsor, animal care donation, adventure path sponsor
Donate via SMS:
Supporting is very easy! Just send a message to the following number, including the amount of money you want to donate.
SMS to: +41 79 557 39 98
<amount>, <name, adress> (example: CHF 50, John Doe, doestreet, 99999 Doester)
History of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary
Facts about Bear Sanctuary:
-Enclosure of approx. 2.8 ha
-Location: Below the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car (1. section)
-Natural mountain landscape with meadows, shrubs, rocks, alder bushes, creeks, woods
-Intake capacity: up to 5 bears (start with one bear in summer 2018)
-Convenient access with the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car
-Existing infrastructure such as restaurant (Brüggerstuba), washrooms, etc.
-Discovery areas such as visitors platform, playground, educational elements, guided tours are part of the project
How did this project come about?
The idea for a significant animal protection project was not conceived only yesterday. It was already 8 years ago, in July 2010, when the tourism director of Arosa, Pascal Jenny, was looking for a new exciting project and came across the Bear Park Bern where two bears needed to find a new home. Jenny clearly remembers: „I instantly felt positive about this new opportunity and offered to host the bears in Arosa. We drafted first project ideas and in the fall of 2010 we already had a bequest offer for the Arosa Bear Sanctuary.” However, it was not quite as smooth a process from there on. In July 2011, the local community of Arosa voted ‘No’ for the „Bärabad“ (an area located in Innerarosa). Nevertheless, this was not the end of the project.
In November 2012 the animal protection organisation of VIER PFOTEN takes notice of Arosa as a potentially ideal bear sanctuary location and starts participating in the project. The team focusses on finding the best location and drawing up conceptual designs. Then came a key moment for the project: the civic community of Chur agrees to separate one of its land parcels near the middle station of the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car. Furthermore, Arosa received the commitment for funding from an additional foundation. Hence, the development of a bear sanctuary with the construction of an enclosure, stables and a visitor’s platform was becoming a true reality.
78 percent of Arosa’s voting population approved the Arosa Bear Sanctuary at the ballot in November 2016. Thereupon, the «Arosa Bären» foundation was established and detailed project management commenced. In May 2017, the parliament of the Canton of Grisons gave the green light to adjust the urban planning zones to allow for the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. The foundation finally signed the lease contract for the land with the civic community of Chur in July 2017. One month later, Arosa was granted the building permit which was followed by the ground-breaking ceremony on 31 August 2017. The first construction phase was launched in fall 2017, followed by the second phase after the winter. And finally, the first bear protection centre of Switzerland will open to the public in August 2018.
Article by SRF, 05.07.2018
In-house film material on the arrival of Napa, 05.07.2018
Moments of the development
On Thursday 31 August 2017 we finally held the long-awaited ground-breaking ceremony in the Arosa mountains. The following video rekindles the emotions of the day and shows what can be achieved when multiple players work together on a unique project. The current status of the construction site can be followed on the webcam.
Media Info about the current status of the project
On 18 April 2017 the project group informed about the current status of the development and provided first insights into the new homes of the bears. Read the summary of the press release.
Philipp Holenstein, CEO Arosa Cable Cars, Pascal Jenny, Tourism Director and Co-Project Manager, Julye Stillhart, Country Manager Vier Pfoten, Hans Schmid, Director Zürich Zoo and Co-Project Manager.
On 27 November 2016 with a 78% YES vote the municipality of Arosa clearly agreed on the rezoning for the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. The project group could not have been more delighted and swiftly prepared the next steps.
The Arosa Bear Sanctuary stands for meaningful and sustainable animal protection and enables Arosa to expand its summer season offer. In cooperation with the animal protection organisation VIER PFOTEN, the team of the Arosa Bear Sanctuary help bears to spend their remaining years in a natural and animal-friendly environment.
On the occasion of the parliamentary session on Thursday 6 October 2016, the 14 member parliament agreed with 14-0 votes to the rezoning request of the municipality executive board. The initiators of the project were incredibly delighted with the result.
Visitors can observe bears in the Arosa Bear Sanctuary from an extensive visitor’s platform. In addition there will be a big playground called “ bear school” that makes every child’s heart beat faster.
Tele Südostschweiz Report
Following the information session of the project group Bear Sanctuary Arosa the TV station Tele Südostschweiz broadcasted an extensive report in the show „so informiert“ on Wednesday 21 September 2016.
The two co-project managers Hansi Schmid (Zoo Zürich) and Stephan Oetiker (embla) provided detailed information about the “project of the century” at the general assembly of the Arosa Tourist Office.