Zamość - new enclosure for bears

Two brown bear females from Zamość zoo (SE Poland), Trezorka and Tarotka, were moved to the new enclosure. Last two years they spent in Wroclaw zoo due to the construction works going in Zamość. On 16th of May 2012 they returned to Zamosc and were released to the new enclosure after two weeks.

They had been kept in Zamość since October 2006, when as a 6 months old cubs, were transferred from Bydgoszcz Zoo. The old enclosure was very small (about 200 square meters), empty concrete “island” surrounded by deep dry moat. There was no swimming pool and no shelter causing discomfort during hot weather. Bears could avoid overheating by going in indoor enclosures which were accessible and the shower was installed in the corner of the "bear house". Tarotka was afraid to go into the stream and was only cooling herself laying in the puddle.

The new enclosure is of almost 1100 square meters with natural grass on the most and a small pool. Two trees and some shrubs were left to grow in the enclosure. Bears can be watched without entering the zoo, just from the street. Dry moat and electric fencing are the barrier but the moat is accessible for bears and has grassy parts. From inside the zoo visitors can watche bears through large windows in the wall. The surface is designed as a terraced fields, surrounded by large artificial rocks. Such diversified enclosure stimulates exploration. Internal enclosure remains of the same size but has been completely refurbished.

Tarotka and Trezorka while being on "holidays" in Wroclaw had the first contact with natural substrate. It is very important for bears with their strong need of digging. The weak point in this enclosure is the pool. The pool is small and has steep walls. Both bears seems afraid to use it. Keepers are trying to encourage them to go in by throwing fruits into the water. Other way to try is to put branches into the pool. Bears do swim very well. However, captive ones are of the observed as scared when the pools have too steep walls. They seem to prefer the access with some shoal area.

During the meeting with Łukasz Sułowski, the new deputy director of the Zamość zoo, we were discussing environmental enrichment techniques. Especially the way of feeding should be changed. Food could be scattered and hidden in the enclosure (between stones, under tree trunks etc.). Some toys for feeding enrichment should be introduced. We hope for further involvement to improve conditions for Trezorka and Tarotka and our good cooperation with Zamość zoo.

Impossible not to mention other changes that have occurred in Zamość zoo last two years. Many enclosures were rebuild or constructed. The new administration building includes the veterinary clinic and two conference rooms. Director Sułowski's pride and of his own project is the tropical butterfly enclosure, the best in Poland without doubts.

The enclosure is being monitored and bears can be watched online:



Old enclosure - an empty, concrete island

Indoor cages were the only shelter in hot weather, and sometimes a bit of tree shadow

Old enclosure - lack of furniture and nothing to explore

The moat was unaccessible for bears

Trezorka and Tarotka


In hot weather the shower was being provided but Tarotka was afraid to get close or into the stream

Trezorka in old enclosure

Tarotka has ligther fur on ears


In Wroclaw zoo Tarotka i Trezorka had an opportunity to dig in the ground for the first time in their life (picture taken in May, 2011)


The pool has too steep entrance - bears are afraid to use it

View from inside the zoo

Artificial rocks enable climbing

Bears eat grass and other plants growing in the enclosure very willingly

Molting without swimming is more difficult


View from the street

Visitors can watch the bears through windows in the wall

The enclosure is of ca. 1100 m2

The grassy moat is accessible for bears

Bears can be observed without entering the zoo 

Grassy shelves surrounded by artificial rocks are a good idea for furnishing the enclosure

 The old building with indoor cages has been refurbished

Walk "downhill"

The keeping conditions are now far better than in the old enclosure

Two trees were left to grow in the enclosure

The moat is accessible but not from this spot

A new building with zoo entrance, offices and vet clinic is located next to the bear enclosure

Łukasz Sułowski, new vice-director, in the "butterfly paradise" of his own project

International vet team in Korabiewice - help for bears - next »
« previous - Białystok - new enclosure and old problems


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