Februar 2010 Magura at the Olympics
We are delighted to announce that from May 2-9 in 2015 we will offer our first ‘Write In Transylvania’
(WIT) holiday, in partnership with Nicoaro Books.
If you like to write in a tranquil setting, and enjoy talking about books with like-minded, creative people,
then this holiday is for you.
Four speakers, with a wide range of experience in writing and publishing, will lead five mornings of
stimulating workshops at Villa Hermani. Afternoons are free, so you can enjoy one of our nature tours.
The holiday costs 595,- EURO, including half board (breakfast
and dinner), twin shared accommodation (six nights), course fees, and afternoon yoga. Single upgrades cost
10,- EURO per person, per day.
To book your place, please contact us. Places will be limited to twelve participants.
For more details about WIT, please visit
We hope to see you!
For many years Magura has had talented athletes in the field of cross-country ski and biathlon. 2010 a young man,
Paul Pepene, 21, participated in the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. He took part in 15km cross-country ski
and reached place 37 out of 95. In the 30km pursuit, he became 29 out of 63.
04.02.2009 Corinne Abplanalp
Bear observation as a means of wildlife management in the national park Piatra Craiului, Romania.
In November 2008 Corinne Abplanalp, who had stayed with us for several internships finished her bachelor thesis
at the Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften – Departement Life Sciences and Faculty Management – in
Wädenswil, Switzerland. Title of her thesis is “Bear observation as a means of wildlife management in the
national park Piatra Craiului, Romania”. The thesis was corrected by Dr. Klaus Robin from Switzerland and Negus
Serban from ICAS, the national institute for wildlife studies in Brasov, Romania. Her thesis reached the highest
We wish Corinne all the best for her future and her career.
23.10.2008 Moving Crai
On 23 October 2008, our wolf Crai could move into his new home at the bear sanctuary „Libearty“ in Zarnesti.
After the death of Poiana, his life-long companion, Crai really became a lonely wolf. We discussed several ideas
to improve his situation, as it became very clear that he could not stay anymore in his old enclosure. We would
like to thank above all Ms. Cristina Lapis, the founder of the bear sanctuary, who agreed to build an enclosure
for Crai and to integrate him into the sanctuary.
On 23 October Peter Sürth, a former member of staff to the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project, who had helped to
raise Crai, Katharina and Markus, a volunteer from Switzerland moved Crai into his new enclosure where he has
company by another wolf rescued from Piatra Neamt Zoo.
22.10.2008 2 orphan bears for sanctuary in Zarnest
This summer we were able to rescue 2 bear cubs and to give them to the sanctuary in Zarnesti.
The bear sanctuary “Libearty” was initiated by Mrs. Cristina Lapis, the founder of the Romanian association for
the protection of animals “Milioane de Prieteni” (millions of friends). The townhall of Zarnesti provided 70
hectares of land for 49 years. With the support of foreign associations for the protection of animals, among
them in a leading role WSPA, 2 enclosures could be built so far, to give bears which were taken from private
ownership a new home which is very similar to their natural habitat. Although it is legally forbidden to keep
wild animals in private ownership, a lot of restaurant e.g. keep bears or wolves to attract visitors. The
living conditions of the animals are very sad and humiliating. They are caged in extremely narrow enclosures
without natural ground, are maltreated or tortured by many “visitors” and malnourished or starving. A good
example is 30-year-old Max. He was kept by a gypsy family and had to “work” at the entrance of Peles Castle,
where tourists could be photographed together with him. For that he was made blind by his owner. He also
destroyed his sense of smell with hydrochloric acid. It was of course difficult to integrate him into his new
home, but he seems to be very happy now.
Besides these enclosures a quarantine station, a training centre and an area for young bears and orphan cubs was
erected. A veterinary clinic and an educational centre are being built.
It is possible that groups visit the sanctuary, please write an e-mail to us.
In June 2008 a German family who had been camping in a little village near Targoviste came to visit us. They
told us one night that they had met a family who kept an orphan bear in their house and garden. They had taken
the bear when it was 2 months old, with the 5 months it had now, it had not only grown in size, but also in
power. It had started to destroy the flowerbeds, broken windowpanes and did a lot of nonsense. Therefore the
family wanted to get rid of the cub – without being punished by the law.
We informed Mrs. Lapis, she and her vet went to the place and took the cub to the sanctuary, where it had to
stay for some months in the quarantine station. The start was very difficult: the bear refused the bear food
that was offered to him, it hung at the fences and cried day and night. It was used to eat from the table of
the family and was used to be treated like a human baby: It was allowed to sleep in the bed and to be taken by
the paw to walk around with the family and was very much afraid of other bears. Now it had to learn to behave
like a bear and to become a real bear! Of course such an animal can never be re-integrated into the forest.
The second bear cub literally was on our way in August! We were on our way with tourists to watch real wild
bears in the forest, when this very tiny, weak, young bear crossed our way. Although the leg was broken, the
joints twisted, and with a huge, open wound, it managed to run very fast. It tried to disappear in the forest
and only through the courageous action of the forester who accompanied us it could be caught. To keep it still
until the vet arrived was a very big challenge!
The injuries could not be operated in Brasov, they were so severe that they needed special treatment. In the
same night the cub was transferred to the university veterinary hospital in Bucharest, where the vets managed
to save the leg in several operations. After more than 6 weeks it was taken to the sanctuary in Zarnesti.
Unfortunately also this bear will never return to the forests, but has to stay in the sanctuary. You can easily
imagine that it is very expensive to run a sanctuary like the one in Zarnesti where no expenses are spared to
provide conditions to the bears which are almost similar to their natural habitat. Therefore, if you would like
to contribute to manage this facility in the best way, please visit the site: www.milioanedeprieteni.org