On a walk in a park for dancing bears in Belitsa – what should we know?

близък кадър на мечкаIf you love traveling and walking in nature, and you are also a fan of one of the biggest and strongest animals – bears, then definitely visit the Dancing Bear Park in Belitsa.

It is one of the places that has not stopped attracting the interest of tourists in the last 20 years and gives visitors a unique opportunity to touch the interesting stories of more than 20 bears rescued from the cruelty of their owners and returned to the wild. If you are interested in knowing more about this place, read the article till the end.

In it, we will tell you everything you need to know when visiting the park.

History of Belitsa Dancing Bear Park

walking bear in Belitsa

Even the story of the creation of the Park itself is touching. This happened in 2000, when the organization “On four paws” and the foundation with same name of the French actress Brigitte Bardot stood behind the cause to create a place where they could be returned to nature, the so-called. “dancing bears”. The older of you probably remember that years ago seeing a bear on a metal chain down the street was an attraction.

From a young age, small bears are separated from their mothers to be trained. However, the training in question involves extremely cruel methods. The bears are made to walk on hot coals while their “trainers” play ticklers. Thus, the bears instinctively learn to jump when they hear the music. However, the inhumane practices do not stop there, the bears’ noses are pierced and a metal ring with a chain is attached to them.

Their teeth and claws were also removed so as not to injure their owners. Fortunately, this vicious practice has been discontinued. Thanks to the active position of the mentioned organizations and the park itself, in 2007 all registered dancing bears in Bulgaria were officially saved. Thus, 27 bears get a chance for a new life in their natural habitat.

We tell you this story in all its unflattering details because it is a telling example that animal welfare is possible and should be upheld.

What should you know if you decide to visit the Park?

The park for dancing bears is located in the area of Andrianov chark, about 12 km away from the town of Belitsa. The place was not chosen by chance. It is adapted to the natural conditions and altitude at which free bears usually live. The park is extremely spacious and allows the animals to enjoy peace and privacy. You can go there by car, which you can park in the designated parking lot.

If you decide to visit the place, keep in mind that it is not open all year. During the winter, when most bears hibernate, the park remains closed to visitors. Therefore, a practical tip is to look at the official website of the Dancing Bear Park or their Facebook page, where you can get up-to-date information on opening hours.

For the organization of a larger group, it is good to call in advance and make a reservation. A nominal entrance fee is charged to visit the park, with the proceeds going mainly to information campaigns. In the Park, strict measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the visitors and the furry four-legged friends. During the tour, you will learn interesting facts about most of the inhabitants of the park and their history.

The tour for children is especially interesting and they will have the opportunity to learn new and useful knowledge about furry four-legged animals, and also see them in their natural environment. If you have a way there, definitely consider a visit to the Belitsa Dancing Bear Park. This place will make you think, but it will also fill you with pleasant emotions and smiles.

Picture of Vanya Grancharova

Vanya Grancharova

I actively participate in the cultural life of the tourist destination Bansko and I’m a member of the patriotic association "Dedo Lazko". I combine my commitments to the tourism business with teaching at the high school in Bansko. I am part of the author's team for the adaptation of „Slavic Bulgarian History“ for students. My favorite projects that I develop with passion and enthusiasm are: "Art Idea Bg" company for design, the internet portal for culinary tourism www.culinarytourism.bg and the "Taste of Bansko" project as entirely my author's spaces.