The sighting of a bear on the Uetliberg, Zurich's local mountain, announced yesterday has triggered great interest and numerous reactions. The April fool's joke takes up a highly topical topic. The bear is likely to return to Switzerland. The question is not whether he will come, but when. The special thematic exhibition "The Return of the Bear", which starts on 27 April, deals with this and the protection of bears from poor husbandry conditions. The exhibition at UTO KULM is organised by Arosa Bärenland and the animal welfare organisation VIER PFOTEN. The bears will thus remain present on the Uetliberg.
A joke with a serious background
Yesterday afternoon Radio 24 and TeleZüri announced the sighting of a bear on the Uetliberg. Several hikers and walkers met a brown bear. The number of curious, interested and worried contacts was overwhelming. Throughout the day, the UTO KULM team was busy providing information to senior groups of explorers, trackers and joggers seeking advice. This joke is intended to draw attention to a topic that has received little public attention so far. Because: The bear is on the march.
Experts agree that animal protection is having an effect and that the expansion of the bear population in Northern Italy and Central Europe will often lead bears to explore Switzerland. "The question is not whether a bear will move over the passports to us in the lowlands, but when this will be the case", says bear expert Dr. Hans Schmid, scientific director of Arosa Bärenland, summarising the situation. The fact that another wolf roamed the Albis chain last October underscores his assessment.
Bear-strong special exhibition "The return home of the bear
The bears remain present on the Uetliberg. From 27 April to 19 May 2019, a special thematic exhibition entitled "The Return of the Bear" will provide information about the brown bear, its behaviour and habits, its return and the situation of bears in captivity. In Europe, many bears are still exhibited in unworthy positions. It is the mission of the animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS to convert these bears into a respectful and species-appropriate attitude. "We are the independent voice for animals. Through this exhibition I am pleased to be able to talk to the Zurich population about the situation of bears in poor housing and their protection", says Alexandra Mandoki, Head of FOUR PAWS Switzerland. The special exhibition is organised by the Arosa Bear Country and the animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS. Admission is free of charge. The catering and hotel company UTO KULM will make the exhibition space available to the organisers free of charge.
A short bear history
The bear was intensively hunted in Switzerland in the 18th and 19th centuries and subsequently exterminated. In 1904, hunters hunted the last bear in Switzerland in Val S-charl in the Lower Engadine. The bear has been a legally protected species in Switzerland since 1962. 14 years ago the first bear, a young bear from Trentino in Italy, migrated back to Switzerland. In the last years Switzerland was visited by about 16 bears and also in the last year several bears were on their way in Switzerland.
The Arosa Bear Country - a species-appropriate home for rescued bears
Together with the animal welfare organisation VIER PFOTEN, the Arosa Bear Foundation implemented the innovative and sustainable Arosa Bearland project. The first bear sanctuary in Switzerland, the Arosa Bärenland Foundation offers up to five bears, which can be found on an area of just under three hectares.
bad husbandry conditions, a species-appropriate home. In the midst of the natural mountain landscape with pastures, bushes, rocks, several ponds and forests as well as snow, the bears can find their way back to their natural behaviour. Today, three bears live in Arosa Bearland.