Brown bears at JuraParc

Around the same time I photographed lynx, wild boar and wolves at the La Garenne zoo in the Jura mountains of Switzerland, I also had the opportunity to see the smaller JuraParc with its group of brown bears.

JuraParc is essentially a restaurant in a mountain pass which added a herd of North American bison, and then wolves, bear, and deer in a sheltered valley. The bison aside, all of these species are native to the Jura and Alps and exist in the wild to varying degrees. From the end of the ice age into the Middle Ages, wolves and bears were common in British woodlands too. Reintroducing them is less realistic than bringing back boar and lynx, but it’s certainly being suggested in fenced areas.

You can see in the first two pictures the layout of the site in the valley, with raised walkways which also form boundaries between the different enclosures. It’s much bigger than La Garenne, and they make use of the cliffs at the edge of the valley for the wolves and bears. I’ve included a short video which gives a better impression of the bears moving around the space and interacting.

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