24 / 07 / 2020
The Bears of Bear Wood
It wouldn’t be Bear Wood without the four furry stars of the show! As we celebrate a year since the exhibit opened, we’re putting a spotlight on the European brown bears that call the woodland home.

Want to know more about Gemini, Albie, Neo and Nilas? We caught up with keepers to find out the bears’ favourite pastimes, snacks and games!

Who’s who in Bear Wood

Could you tell your Neo from your Nilas? Our bears have distinctive personalities!

  • Age: 2
  • The only girl of the group
  • Sister to Albie
  • Smallest and with lightest fur
  • Nervous around new things
  • Loves climbing trees
  • Learns quickly and enjoys her own space
  • Age: 2
  • Confident and relaxed
  • Brother to Gemini
  • Often found chilling in the shade
  • Hangs out close to his sister
  • Clever, but a little lazy during training!
  • Age: 3
  • The big boss of the group
  • Brother to Nilas
  • Loves playing with things he can squash or break
  • Loves water and swimming in the pool
  • Enjoys training and is a keen learner
  • Age: 3
  • Shyer one of the two older brothers
  • Brother to Neo
  • Often shares food and relaxes with his brother
  • Curious and loves investigating new things
  • Very chilled, but quick and clever

Tasty snacks

What do our bears like munching on?

Brown bears are omnivores, which means they will eat just about anything! Ours have a diet including meat, fish, dog biscuits, nuts, and a variety of fruit and veg. But when they’re training, they get extra tasty snacks like dates, peanuts and honey water!

A bear’s diet is very seasonal, and their appetite changes throughout the year – they eat more energy-rich food in the autumn, ready for their sleepy period in the winter. 


Our bears are curious and love playing! To keep them mentally and physically active, we introduce lots of toys and games to their exhibit called enrichment.

Enrichment can be physical (e.g. puzzle toys, complex climbing structures), sensory (e.g. scents or sounds), or food-based (e.g. concealing food in novel ways). The bears particularly love having perfume sprayed around their environment, as they would experience lots of new smells in the wild. We even have bacon scented bubbles for them, which we use in a bubble gun!

Want to buy our bears a gift? Choose some exciting toys from our Amazon wishlist and we might post a photo of them playing to our Facebook page!

Fab facts: The European brown bear

  • The brown bear once roamed all of Europe, including Britain
  • The huge claws of the brown bears can grow up to 15cm long
  • Bears have prehensile lips, which come in useful for browsing berries
  • They hibernate in the wild, and can survive several months without eating, drinking or urinating
  • As a way to communicate, bears rub against trees to leave their scent behind – this is particularly important for males looking to mate

Adopt a bear

Did you know you can adopt our bears?
Help us to care for them and support our conservation work around the world.
When you adopt our bears, you will receive a fact file on each bear, adoption certificate, and wooden plaque for the perfect keepsake.
Bear wood is sponsored by Natracare.
Why not pay the bears a visit at Wild Place Project? Book online in advance at wildplace.org.uk
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